List of United States senators who switched parties

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This list includes United States Senators who switched parties while serving in the Senate.


19th century

Senator State Date Congress Old party New party Notes
James H. Kyle South Dakota 1891 52nd Independent Populist
William M. Stewart Nevada 1893 53rd Republican Silver
The Silver Republicans' seniority and committee assignments were not affected by their having left the party.[1]
John P. Jones Nevada September 4, 1894 Republican Silver
Henry M. Teller Colorado June 17, 1896 54th Republican Silver
Lee Mantle Montana Republican Silver
Richard F. Pettigrew South Dakota Republican Silver
Frank J. Cannon Utah Republican Silver
Fred Dubois Idaho 1896 Republican Silver
James H. Kyle South Dakota 1897 55th Populist Republican
| William M. Stewart Nevada December 4, 1899 56th Silver

20th century

Senator State Date Congress Old party New party Notes
John P. Jones Nevada 1901 56th Silver
Fred Dubois Idaho Silver
Democratic DuBois lost his re-election bid in 1896, was again elected as a Silver Republican in 1900, but became a Democrat early in the term.
Henry M. Teller Colorado March 4, 1901 Silver
Miles Poindexter Wisconsin 1913 63rd Republican Progressive
1915 64th Progressive Republican
Robert M. La Follette Jr. Wisconsin 1935 74th Republican Progressive Caucused with the Republicans; briefly returned before losing in 1946.
George W. Norris Nebraska 1937 75th Republican Independent
Henrik Shipstead Minnesota 1940 76th Farmer–Labor Republican
Wayne Morse Oregon 1953 83rd Republican Independent
February 17, 1955 84th Independent Democratic
Strom Thurmond South Carolina September 16, 1964 88th Democratic Republican
Harry F. Byrd Jr. Virginia 1970 91st Democratic Independent Kept seniority, but did not caucus with the Democrats
Richard Shelby Alabama November 9, 1994 103rd Democratic Republican
Ben N. Campbell Colorado March 3, 1995 104th Democratic Republican
Robert Smith New Hampshire
July 13, 1999 106th Republican Taxpayers
August 1999 Taxpayers Independent
November 1, 1999 Independent Republican

21st century

Senator State Date Congress Old party New party Notes
Jim Jeffords Vermont June 6, 2001 107th Republican Independent Caucused with the Democrats
Joe Lieberman Connecticut 2006 110th Democratic Independent-
Caucused with the Democrats. Lieberman was re-elected on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket, however he did not ever formally join that political party.
Arlen Specter[2] Pennsylvania April 28, 2009 111th Republican Democratic

See also


  1. ^ "Senators Who Changed Parties During Senate Service (Since 1890)". United States Senate.
  2. ^ "Longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter becomes Democrat". CNN. April 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
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