1992 United States Senate election in Georgia

The 1992 United States Senate election in Georgia was held on November 3, 1992. In the general election, which occurred simultaneously with the presidential election, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Wyche Fowler received more votes, but did not achieve a simple majority. Under Georgia law, this demanded a runoff. Paul Coverdell, the former Director of the Peace Corps, edged out Fowler in the November 24 runoff by a narrow margin, flipping the seat to the Republicans. It was the first Senate runoff election to be held in Georgia since runoffs were first mandated in 1964. This was the third consecutive election for this Senate seat where the incumbent was defeated.

1992 United States Senate election in Georgia

← 1986 November 3, 1992 (first round)
November 24, 1992 (runoff)
1998 →
Nominee Paul Coverdell Wyche Fowler
Party Republican Democratic
First round 1,073,282
Runoff 635,118

Coverdell:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
Fowler:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

U.S. senator before election

Wyche Fowler

Elected U.S. Senator

Paul Coverdell

Republican primary edit

The general primary was held July 21, 1992.[1] A run-off between the top two Republican contenders was held on August 11, in which Paul Coverdell defeated Bob Barr.

Candidates edit

Results edit

Results[2] for the first round showed that since Paul Coverdell did not win a majority of the vote, a runoff was held between him and Barr. Coverdell subsequently won the runoff.

1992 Georgia U.S. Senate Republican primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Coverdell 100,016 37.05%
Republican Bob Barr 65,471 24.25%
Republican John Knox 64,514 23.90%
Republican Charlie Tanskley 32,590 12.07%
Republican Dean Parkison 7,352 2.72%
Turnout 269,943 100.00%
1992 Georgia U.S. Senate Republican primary election runoff
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Coverdell 80,435 50.49%
Republican Bob Barr 78,887 49.51%
Turnout 159,332 100.00%

General election edit

Candidates edit

Results edit

Initial edit

As no candidate reached a majority on November 3, a runoff election was held on November 24, which Coverdell won.

Georgia United States Senate election, 1992
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Wyche Fowler (incumbent) 1,108,416 49.23%
Republican Paul Coverdell 1,073,282 47.67%
Libertarian Jim Hudson 69,878 3.10%
Write-In Votes 11 0.00%
Majority 35,134 1.56%
Turnout 2,251,587

Run off edit

Georgia United States Senate election runoff, 1992
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Coverdell 635,118 50.65%
Democratic Wyche Fowler (incumbent) 618,774 49.35%
Majority 16,344 1.30%
Turnout 1,253,892
Republican gain from Democratic

Aftermath edit

The Georgia Legislature, then controlled by Democrats, changed the state's laws requiring a run-off election only if the winning candidate received less than 45% of the vote. In the 1996 Senate election, the winner, Democrat Max Cleland won with only 48.9% (1.4% ahead of Republican Guy Millner) thus avoiding a run-off. In 2005 after Republicans took control of the legislature, the run-off requirement was changed back to 50%.[3]

The result of this election would later repeat in reverse in the 2020-2021 regular Senate election in Georgia, with Republican David Perdue winning the first round but falling less than one percent below the 50% threshold required to avoid a runoff, and then being defeated in the runoff by Democrat Jon Ossoff with a similar one point margin.[4]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ 1992 Republican Primary OurCampaigns
  2. ^ "Our Campaigns - GA US Senate - R Primary Race - Jul 21, 1992".
  3. ^ "Runoff system a Southern relic". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. August 10, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  4. ^ "Jon Ossoff Wins Georgia Runoff, Handing Democrats Senate Control". National Public Radio. January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 9, 2022.