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1980 United States Senate election in Indiana

The 1980 United States Senate election in Indiana took place on November 4, 1980, along with elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as the presidential election, elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Birch Bayh ran for a fourth term, but was defeated by Republican nominee, U.S. Representative Dan Quayle.

1980 United States Senate election in Indiana

← 1974 November 4, 1980 1986 →
  Dan Quayle 1977.jpg Birch bayh.jpg
Nominee Dan Quayle Birch Bayh
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,182,414 1,015,922
Percentage 53.8% 46.2%

Indiana Senate Election Results by County, 1980.svg
County Results

Quayle:      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%

Bayh:      50–60%

U.S. Senator before election

Birch Bayh

Elected U.S. Senator

Dan Quayle

Republican primaryEdit


  • Roger F. Marsh, author and activist
  • Dan Quayle, U.S. Representative


Republican primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Quayle 397,273 77.06%
Republican Roger Marsh 118,273 22.94%

General electionEdit



Birch Bayh, the incumbent Senator, faced no opposition from Indiana and avoided a primary election. Bayh was originally elected in 1962 and re-elected in 1968 and 1974. He was Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee and architect of 25th and 26th Amendments. This election was one of the key races in the country, and signaled a trend that would come to be known as Reagan's coattails, describing the influence Ronald Reagan had in congressional elections. Incumbent three-term Senator Birch Bayh was defeated by over 160,000 votes to Representative Dan Quayle, who would later go on to be Vice President of the United States.


General election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Quayle 1,182,414 53.79%
Democratic Birch Bayh (incumbent) 1,015,922 46.21%
Majority 166,492 7.58%
Turnout 2,198,366
Republican gain from Democratic

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Official Results". OurCampaigns. Retrieved March 6, 2009.