1980 United States Senate election in Georgia
The 1980 United States Senate election in Georgia was held on November 4, 1980. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator and former Governor of Georgia Herman Talmadge ran for reelection to a fifth term, but lost narrowly to Mack Mattingly, Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party. Mattingly became the first ever Republican popularly elected to the Senate in Georgia. This race was part of a landslide national election for Republicans that would come to be known as the Reagan Revolution.
- John Francis Collins
- Dawson Mathis, U.S. Representative from Georgia's 2nd congressional district
- Zell Miller, Lieutenant Governor
- J.B. Stoner, white supremacist and terrorist
- Herman Talmadge, incumbent Senator since 1957
- Norman Underwood, Judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals
Talmadge's ethical issues made him uniquely vulnerable. Because Georgia was seen as a strongly Democratic state, five primary opponents declared their candidacies for the Democratic nomination. Strongest among these candidates was Lieutenant Governor Zell Miller. Miller launched his campaign with support from black voters, organized labor, and the liberal wing of the Georgia Democratic Party. He campaign against Talmadge on the argument that Talmadge had "disgraced" Georgia. Miller also attacked Talmadge's history as a segregationist and boasted of support from black leaders including Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson and State Senator Julian Bond.
In the six-man primary held August 5, Miller and Talmadge advanced to a run-off election. Talmadge won the run-off election with 58.6% of the vote.
|Democratic||Herman Talmadge (incumbent)||432,215||41.99%|
|Democratic||John F. Collins||12,243||1.19%|
|Democratic||Herman Talmadge (incumbent)||559,615||58.58%|
Mattingly was unopposed for the Republican nomination.
|Democratic||Herman Talmadge (incumbent)||776,143||49.13%||-22.63%|
|Republican gain from Democratic||Swing||22.63%|
- Harris, Art (23 Aug 1980). "Drawlin' and Brawlin'". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
- "GA US Senate – D Primary, 1980". OurCampaigns. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
- "GA US Senate – D Runoff, 1980". OurCampaigns. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
- "United States Senator". Our Campaigns. Retrieved January 1, 2009.