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1934 United States Senate election in Missouri

The 1934 United States Senate election in Missouri was held on November 6, 1934. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Roscoe Patterson, first elected in 1928, sought reelection to a second term. He was defeated by the Democratic nominee, future President of the United States Harry Truman.[1]

United States Senate election in Missouri, 1934

← 1928 November 6, 1934 1940 →
  Harry S Truman, bw half-length photo portrait, facing front, 1945-crop.jpg PATTERSON, ROSCOE. SENATOR LCCN2016861077 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Harry S. Truman Roscoe C. Patterson
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 787,110 524,954
Percentage 59.55% 39.71%

Missouri Senatorial Election Results by County, 1934.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Roscoe C. Patterson

Elected U.S. Senator

Harry S. Truman





Harry Truman, having served as a judge, expressed an interest in running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1934, but political boss Tom Pendergast had already selected another candidate for that race. After four other potential candidates had declined to run, Pendergast ultimately approached Truman to discuss a possible run for the United States Senate, to Truman's surprise. Truman, with backing from Pendergast, entered the Senate race. Truman said he would not, if elected, dictate to anyone[clarification needed], to the dismay of anti-Pendergast U.S. Senator Bennett Champ Clark.[5]

Truman waged a statewide campaign and eventually won the largely three-way Democratic primary on August 7, 1934, by a significant margin, defeating U.S. Representatives John Cochran and Jacob Milligan.[3] After winning the Democratic nomination, Truman defeated Republican opponent and incumbent U.S. Senator Roscoe Patterson by a landslide margin of about 20% of the vote.[6][7]


Missouri United States Senate election, 1934[1][6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Harry S. Truman 787,110 59.55
Republican Roscoe C. Patterson (incumbent) 524,954 39.71
Socialist W.C. Meyer 9,010 0.68
Communist Frank Brown 418 0.03
Socialist Labor William Wesley Cox 384 0.03
Total votes 1,321,876 100

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Dubin, Michael J. (1998). United States congressional elections, 1788-1997 : the official results of the elections of the 1st through 105th congresses. Jefferson, NC [u.a.]: McFarland. ISBN 0786402830.
  2. ^ "TRUMAN, Harry S., (1884 - 1972)". Biographical Directory of the U.S Congress. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "MO US Senate - D Primary". OurCampaigns. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  4. ^ "PATTERSON, Roscoe Conklin, (1876 - 1954)". Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Harry S. Truman, 34th Vice President (1945)". United States Senate. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  6. ^ a b "MO US Senate". OurCampaigns. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Life Before the Presidency". American President: A Reference Resource. University of Virginia. Retrieved 13 June 2012.