United States House of Representatives elections, 1894
Elections to the United States House of Representatives in 1894 comprised a significant realigning election — a major Republican landslide that set the stage for the decisive election of 1896. The elections of members of the United States House of Representatives in 1894 came in the middle of President Grover Cleveland's second term. The nation was in its deepest economic depression ever following the Panic of 1893, so economic issues were at the forefront. In the spring, a major coal strike damaged the economy of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. It was accompanied by violence; the miners lost and many moved toward the Populist party. Immediately after the coal strike concluded, Eugene V. Debs led a nationwide railroad strike, called the Pullman Strike. It shut down the nation's transportation system west of Detroit for weeks, until President Cleveland's use of federal troops ended the strike. Debs went to prison (for disobeying a court order). Illinois's Governor John Peter Altgeld, a Democrat, broke bitterly with Cleveland.
The fragmented and disoriented Democratic Party was crushed everywhere outside the South, losing more than half its seats to the Republican Party. Even in the South, the Democrats lost seats to Republican-Populist electoral fusion in Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The Democrats ultimately lost 127 seats in the election while the Republicans gained 130 seats (after the resolution of several contested elections). This is the largest swing in the history of the House of Representatives, and also makes the 1894 election the single largest midterm election victory in the entire history of the United States. (A political party would not suffer triple-digit losses again until 1932.)
The main issues revolved around the severe economic depression, which the Republicans blamed on the conservative Bourbon Democrats led by Cleveland. Cleveland supporters lost heavily, weakening their hold on the party and setting the stage for an 1896 takeover by the silverist wing of the party. The Populist Party ran candidates in the South and Midwest, but generally lost ground, outside Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas where state-level fusion with the Republicans was successful despite Populist and Republican antagonism at the national level. The Democrats tried to raise a religious issue, claiming the GOP was in cahoots with the American Protective Association. The allegations seem to have fallen flat as Catholics moved toward the GOP.
One seat was added for the new State of Utah.
The previous election of 1892 saw 11 Populists and a Silver Party member win seats.
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Early election dates
In 1894, three states, with 8 seats among them, held elections early:
|California 1||Thomas J. Geary||Democratic||1890|| Lost re-election
| John All Barham (R) 41.1%|
Thomas J. Geary (D) 37.0%
Roger F. Grigsby (Pop) 19.7%
J. R. Gregory (Pr)
|California 2||Anthony Caminetti||Democratic||1890|| Lost re-election
| Grove L. Johnson (R) 43.0%|
Anthony Caminetti (D) 35.1%
Burdelli Cornell (Pop) 20.0%
Elam Briggs (Pr) 1.9%
|California 3||Warren B. English||Democratic||1892|| Lost re-election
| Samuel G. Hilborn (R) 45.5%|
Warren B. English (D) 37.8%
W. A. Vann (Pop) 14.9%
L. B. Scranton (Pr) 1.8%
|California 4||James G. Maguire||Democratic||1892||Re-elected|| James G. Maguire (D) 48.3%|
Thomas Bowles Shannon (R) 32.0%
B. K. Collier (Pop) 18.4%
Joseph Rowell (Pr) 1.3%
|California 5||Eugene F. Loud||Republican||1890||Re-elected|| Eugene F. Loud (R) 36.8%|
Joseph P. Kelly (D) 23.0%
James T. Rogers (Pop) 21.5%
James Denman (Pr) 18.7%
|California 6||Marion Cannon||Populist||1892|| Retired
| James McLachlan (R) 44.3%|
George S. Patton (D) 27.6%
W. C. Bowman (Pop) 23.1%
J. E. McComas (Pr) 5.0%
|California 7||William W. Bowers||Republican||1890||Re-elected|| William W. Bowers (R) 42.9%|
W. H. Alford (D) 28.2%
J. L. Gilbert (Pop) 25.0%
W. H. Somers (Pr) 3.9%
|Florida 1||Stephen R. Mallory||Democratic||1890|| Retired
| Stephen M. Sparkman (D) 85.3%|
D. L. McKinnon (Pop) 14.7%
|Florida 2||Charles Merian Cooper||Democratic||1892||Re-elected|| Charles Merian Cooper (D) 79.8%|
Montholom Atkinson (Pop) 20.2%
|Ohio 1||Bellamy Storer||Republican||1890|| Retired
|Ohio 2||Jacob H. Bromwell||Republican||1894 (s)||Re-elected|| |
|Ohio 3||Paul J. Sorg||Democratic||1894 (s)||Re-elected|
|Ohio 4||Fernando C. Layton||Democratic||1892||Re-elected|| |
|Ohio 5||Dennis D. Donovan||Democratic||1892|| Lost re-nomination
|Ohio 6||George W. Hulick||Republican||1892||Re-elected|| |
|Ohio 7||George W. Wilson||Republican||1892||Re-elected|| |
|Ohio 8||Luther M. Strong||Republican||1892||Re-elected|| |
|Ohio 9||Byron F. Ritchie||Democratic||1892|| Lost re-election
|Ohio 10||Hezekiah S. Bundy||Republican||1893 (s)|| Retired
|Ohio 11||Charles H. Grosvenor||Republican||1892||Re-elected|| |
|Ohio 12||Joseph H. Outhwaite||Democratic||1892|| Lost re-election
|Ohio 13||Darius D. Hare||Democratic||1892|| Retired
|Ohio 14||Michael D. Harter||Democratic||1892|| Retired
|Ohio 15||H. Clay Van Voorhis||Republican||1892||Re-elected|| |
|Ohio 16||Albert J. Pearson||Democratic||1892|| Retired
|Ohio 17||James A. D. Richards||Democratic||1892|| Lost re-election
|Ohio 18||George P. Ikirt||Democratic||1892|| Retired
|Ohio 19||Stephen A. Northway||Republican||1892||Re-elected|| |
|Ohio 20||William J. White||Republican||1892|| Retired
|Ohio 21||Tom L. Johnson||Democratic||1890|| Lost re-election
|South Carolina 1|| George W. Murray
Redistricted from the 7th district
|Republican||1892|| Lost re-election
| William Elliott (D) 59.1%|
George W. Murray (R) 40.9%
|South Carolina 2||W. Jasper Talbert||Democratic||1892||Re-elected|| W. Jasper Talbert (D) 99.5%|
|South Carolina 3||Asbury Latimer||Democratic||1892||Re-elected|| Asbury Latimer (D) 81.3%|
Robert Moorman (R) 13.9%
|South Carolina 4||George W. Shell||Democratic||1890|| Retired
| Stanyarne Wilson (D) 75.1%|
Lawson D. Melton (R) 24.7%
|South Carolina 5||Thomas J. Strait||Democratic||1892||Re-elected|| Thomas J. Strait (D) 67.6%|
G. G. Alexander (R) 17.0%
W. R. Davie (I) 12.8%
|South Carolina 6||John L. McLaurin||Democratic||1892||Re-elected|| John L. McLaurin (D) 76.9%|
J. P. Wilson (R) 23.1%
|South Carolina 7||None (open seat due to redistricting)||Democratic gain|| J. William Stokes (D) 73.0%|
T. B. Johnson (R) 26.3%
In the 1st district, Murray successfully challenged Elliott's election and was awarded the seat on June 4, 1896.
The election in the 7th district was declared void on June 1, 1896 due to electoral fraud
This was Utah's first election for Representatives.
|Utah at-large||None (new state)||Republican win|| Clarence E. Allen (R) 49.7%|
Brigham H. Roberts (D) 47.5%
J. Hogan (Pr) 2.8%
- United States elections, 1894
- 53rd United States Congress
- 54th United States Congress
- Three states held early elections between June 4 and September 10.
- Includes late elections.
- Included two Independent Democrats.
- Dubin (p. 312) counts 244 Republicans, 105 Democrats, 7 Populists, and 1 Silver at the opening of the 54th Congress, before the results of several contested elections were overturned in favor of Republican (and a few Populist) candidates. Dubin counts 253 Republicans, 93 Democrats, 9 Populists, and 1 Silver at the start of the 2nd session of the 54th Congress, which closely matches Martis' figure (pp. 148–49).
- At-large seats eliminated in redistricting.
- Elections held early.
- Newly admitted state.
- After contested election.
- Had been the initial winner in 1892 but lost contested election
- Martis, pp. 148–149.
- The New York Times TimesMachine: SENATE AND HOUSE SECURED; REPUBLICAN CONTROL IN THE NEXT CONGRESS ASSURED.
- African-Americans and Populism at the Wayback Machine (archived June 22, 2006)
- Jensen (1971), Chap. 9.
- Smith, Joseph P, ed. (1898). History of the Republican Party in Ohio. I. Chicago: the Lewis Publishing Company. pp. 656, 657.
- Republican Congressional Committee, Republican Campaign Text Book: 1894 (1894).
- Jensen, Richard. The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political Conflict, 1888–1896 (1971).
- Dubin, Michael J. (March 1, 1998). United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses. McFarland and Company. ISBN 978-0786402830.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (January 1, 1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0029201701.
- Moore, John L., ed. (1994). Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (Third ed.). Congressional Quarterly Inc. ISBN 978-0871879967.
- "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives* 1789–Present". Office of the Historian, House of United States House of Representatives. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Office of the Historian (Office of Art & Archives, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives)