United States Senate election in Texas, 1996

United States Senate election in Texas, 1996
November 5, 1996

Nominee Phil Gramm Victor Morales
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 3,027,680 2,428,776
Percentage 54.8% 43.9%

County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Phil Gramm

Elected U.S. Senator

Phil Gramm

The 1996 United States Senate election in Texas was held on November 5, 1996. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Phil Gramm won re-election to a third term.

Major candidates




Morales, who never ran for public office before, pulled a major upset in the primary by defeated three politicians: U.S. Congressman John Wiley Bryant, U.S. Congressman Jim Chapman, and former State Supreme Court litigator John Odam. In the March run-off, he defeated Bryant with 51% of the vote. He became the first minority in Texas history to become a United States Senate nominee from either major party. Despite having no staff, raising only $15,000, and not accepting any special interest money he obtained 2.5 million votes.[1]

Gramm previously ran for President earlier in the year, but lost to fellow U.S. Senator Bob Dole in the Republican presidential primary. Gramm was the heavy favorite. A September poll showed Gramm leading 50% to 40%. A late October poll showed him leading with 53% to 31%.[2]

Exit Polls showed that Gramm performed well with Anglos (68% to 31%), while Morales won African Americans (79% to 19%) and Latinos (79% to 20%) respectively.


General election results[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Phil Gramm 3,027,680 54.8
Democratic Victor M. Morales 2,428,776 43.9
Libertarian Michael Bird 51,516 0.9
Natural Law John Huff 19,469 0.4


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