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United States Senate election in Illinois, 1998

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Title: United States Senate election in Illinois, 1998  
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Subject: United States Senate elections, 1998, United States Senate election in Illinois, 1885, Illinois elections, 2010, Illinois elections, 2014, United States House of Representatives elections in Illinois, 2008
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United States Senate election in Illinois, 1998

United States Senate election in Illinois, 1998

November 3, 1998

Nominee Peter Fitzgerald Carol Moseley Braun
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,709,041 1,610,496
Percentage 50.4% 47.4%

County Results

Senator before election

Carol Moseley Braun

Elected Senator

Peter Fitzgerald

The 1998 United States Senate election in Illinois was held on November 3, 1998. Incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun decided to run for re-election, despite the number of controversies she was in during her first term. Republican State Senator Peter Fitzgerald was his parties' primary with a slim margin of victory. He ended up defeating the incumbent with a margin of victory of approximately 3%.

Major candidates




During Moseley Braun's first term as U.S. Senator, she was plagued by several major controversies. Moseley Braun was the subject of a 1993 Federal Elections Commission investigation over $249,000 in unaccounted-for campaign funds. The agency found some small violations, but took no action against Moseley Braun, citing a lack of resources. Moseley Braun only admitted to bookkeeping errors. The Justice Department turned down two requests for investigations from the IRS.[1]In 1996, Moseley Braun made a private trip to Nigeria, where she met with dictator Sani Abacha. Despite U.S. sanctions against that country, due to Abacha's actions, the Senator did not notify, nor register her trip with, the State Department. She subsequently defended Abacha's human rights records in Congress.[2]

Peter Fitzgerald, a State Senator, barely won the Republican primary, spending over $7 million.[3] He had a major finances advantage, as he was a multimillionaire. He ended up spending $12 million in his election victory.[4]

In September, she created controversy again by using the word Nigger to describe how she claims to be a victim of racism.[4]

Most polls over the first few months showed Moseley-Braun trailing badly. However, after she was helped in the final month by notable Democrats such as First Lady Hillary Clinton and U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, three polls published in the last week showed her within the margin of error, and, in one poll, running even with Fitzgerald.[5]


Illinois United States Senate election, 1998[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Peter Fitzgerald 1,709,041 50.35 +7.4%
Democratic Carol Moseley Braun (Incumbent) 1,610,496 47.44 -5.6%
Reform Don Torgersen 74,704 2.20 0.00%
US Taxpayers Raymond Stalker 280 0.01 0.00%
Majority 98,545 2.91 0.00%
Turnout 3,394,521
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


  1. ^ Slate, Is Carol Moseley-Braun a Crook?", 19 Feb 2003
  2. ^ NPR, "2004 Democratic Presidential Candidates: Carol Moseley Braun", 6 May 2003
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
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