1948 United States Senate election in South Carolina

The 1948 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 2, 1948 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Incumbent Democratic Senator Burnet R. Maybank won the Democratic primary and defeated Republican challenger J. Bates Gerald in the general election to win another six-year term.

1948 Democratic Senate primary in South Carolina

← 1942 November 2, 1948 1954 →
  Burnet R. Maybank.jpg W. J. Bryan Dorn.jpg
Nominee Burnet R. Maybank W.J. Bryan Dorn
Party Democratic Democratic
Popular vote 161,608 76,749
Percentage 51.63% 24.85%

Nominee Neville Bennett Alan Johnstone
Party Democratic Democratic
Popular vote 43,068 17,689
Percentage 13.48% 5.44%

U.S. senator before election

Burnet R. Maybank

Elected U.S. Senator

Burnet R. Maybank

Democratic primaryEdit



Senator Maybank narrowly achieved a majority of the primary vote, avoiding a potential run-off election against Dorn.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Burnet R. Maybank 161,608 51.5
W.J. Bryan Dorn 76,749 24.4
Neville Bennett 43,068 13.7
Alan Johnstone 17,689 5.6
Marcus A. Stone 14,904 4.8

General electionEdit


Since the end of Reconstruction in 1877, the Democratic Party dominated the politics of South Carolina and its statewide candidates were never seriously challenged. Maybank did not campaign for the general election as there was no chance of defeat.


1948 U.S. Senate election in South Carolina
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Burnet R. Maybank (incumbent) 135,998 96.4 -3.6
Republican J. Bates Gerald 5,008 3.6 +3.6
Majority 130,990 92.8 -7.2
Turnout 141,006
Democratic hold
  65+% won by Maybank

See alsoEdit


  • Jordan, Frank E. The Primary State: A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962. p. 79.
  • "Supplemental Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina." Reports and Resolutions of South Carolina to the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume I. Columbia, SC: 1949, p. 11.