1938 United States Senate election in Indiana

The 1938 United States Senate elections in Indiana took place on November 8, 1938. Incumbent Democratic Senator Frederick Van Nuys was narrowly re-elected to a second term in office over Raymond E. Willis by a margin of 5,197 votes out of over 1.5 million cast.

1938 United States Senate election in Indiana

← 1932 November 8, 1938 1944 →
  FVanNuys.jpg Raymond Eugene Willis.jpg
Nominee Frederick Van Nuys Raymond E. Willis
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 788,386 783,189
Percentage 49.85% 49.52%

U.S. senator before election

Frederick Van Nuys

Elected U.S. Senator

Frederick Van Nuys

General electionEdit


  • Miles Blansett (Communist)
  • Louis E. Roebuck (Socialist)
  • Herman L. Seeger (Prohibition)
  • Frederick Van Nuys, incumbent Senator since 1933 (Democratic)
  • Raymond E. Willis, former State Representative (Republican)


1938 United States Senate election in Indiana[1][2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Frederick Van Nuys (incumbent) 788,386 49.85%  5.72
Republican Raymond E. Willis 783,189 49.52%  7.26
Prohibition Herman L. Seeger 6,905 0.44%  0.16
Socialist Louis E. Roebuck 2,026 0.13%  1.07
Communist Miles Blansett 984 0.06%  0.08
Total votes 1,651,385 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing


On March 13, Willis petitioned the Senate for a review of the election, alleging tampering with tabulation machines and allowing improperly registered persons to vote. Willis also charged that recipients of Works Progress Administration jobs and relief were pressured to vote for the Democrats, and he complained about the infamous Two Per Cent Club, which was said to have violated the corrupt practices acts by collecting and disbursing thousands of dollars for the senatorial election without keeping appropriate records. He made no allegation that Van Nuys was involved or aware of corrupt practices.[3]

After one month's investigation, the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections returned a report favorable to Van Nuys, and it was carried by a voice vote of the whole Senate.[3]

Willis was elected to Indiana's other Senate seat in 1940.[3] Willis and Van Nuys were Senate colleagues for four years until the latter's death in 1944.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Our Campaigns - IN US Senate Race - Nov 08, 1938".
  2. ^ Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives (1 Mar 1945). "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 7, 1938" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 16.
  3. ^ a b c "The Election Case of Raymond E. Willis v. Frederick Van Nuys of Indiana (1939)". The United States Senate.