1946 United States Senate election in Massachusetts

The 1946 United States Senate election in Massachusetts was held on November 5, 1946. Incumbent Democratic Senator David I. Walsh ran for re-election to a fifth term[a] in office, but was defeated by Republican former Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., who returned from service in World War II.

1946 United States Senate election in Massachusetts

← 1940 November 5, 1946 1952 →
  HenryCabotLodgeJr (1).jpg Sen. David I. Walsh 1939 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. David I. Walsh
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 989,736 660,200
Percentage 59.55% 39.72%

1946 United States Senate election in Massachusetts results map by county.svg
Map key
Lodge:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

U.S. senator before election

David I. Walsh

Elected U.S. Senator

Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.

It was the last time a Republican was elected to the Class 1 Senate seat in Massachusetts until 2010, and the last time as of 2022 that a Republican was elected to serve a full term in that seat.


Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. was elected to two terms in the U.S. Senate in 1936 and 1942, but resigned during his second term to serve in World War II. With the completion of the war in Europe, Lodge returned to Massachusetts and to politics.[1]

David I. Walsh had served four terms in office since his election as an ally of Woodrow Wilson in 1916 but had alienated New Deal supporters by opposing the labor and social reform measures of the Second New Deal. He was also embroiled in a personal scandal after the owner of a Brooklyn homosexual brothel allegedly frequented by German spies had sworn under oath that Walsh was his client. Though J. Edgar Hoover cleared Walsh of any wrongdoing, the scandal hung over his head.[2]

Democratic primaryEdit




Senator Walsh was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

1946 Democratic U.S. Senate primary[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic David I. Walsh (incumbent) 194,323 99.99%
Write-in All others 28 0.01%
None Blank votes 93,302
Turnout 287,653 100.00

Republican primaryEdit




Lodge was unopposed for the Republican nomination.

1946 Republican U.S. Senate primary[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. 186,376 100.00%
Write-in All others 8 0.00%
None Blank votes 24,331
Turnout 210,715 100.00

General electionEdit



Lodge, who considered Walsh a family friend, avoided mentioning his opponent's alleged homosexuality or impropriety. He centered his campaign on criticism of postwar economic conditions, arguing that inflation, labor strife, and consumer goods shortages were leading the country toward "another depression."[5]


United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 1946[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. 989,736 59.55%  17.17
Democratic David I. Walsh (incumbent) 660,200 39.72%  15.92
Socialist Labor Henning A. Blomen 9,221 0.56%  0.35
Prohibition Mark R. Shaw 2,898 0.17%  0.32
Total votes 1,662,055 100.0%

Lodge carried carried every county and the city of Boston.[5]


  1. ^ Walsh had served three consecutive terms since 1929 in addition to a fourth nonconsecutive term from 1917–23.
  2. ^ a b Walsh had previously served in the Senate from 1917–23.


  1. ^ Whalen, Thomas J. (2000). Kennedy versus Lodge: The 1952 Massachusetts Senate Race. Northeastern University Press. p. 51.
  2. ^ Whalen 2000, p. 51.
  3. ^ Election Statistics, 1946.
  4. ^ Election Statistics, 1946.
  5. ^ a b Whalen 2000, p. 52.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - MA US Senate Race - Nov 05, 1946".
  7. ^ Massachusetts, Secretary of the Commonwealth. "Election statistics". Internet Archive. UMass Amherst Libraries. Retrieved 24 March 2022.