Political party strength in Tennessee Information

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Table of Contents ⇨

The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of Tennessee:

The table also indicates the historical party composition in the:

For years in which a presidential election was held, the table indicates which party's nominees received the state's electoral votes.

The parties are as follows:    Carter County Republican (CCR),    Constitutional Union (CU),    Democratic (D),   Democratic/ Military (DM),    Democratic-Republican (DR),    Farmers' Alliance (FA),    Know Nothing (K-N),    Opposition (O),    Republican (R),    Unionist (U),    Whig (W), and   a tie or coalition within a group of elected officials.

Year Executive office State Legislature United States Congress Electoral College votes
Governor State Senate State House U.S. Senator (Class I) U.S. Senator (Class II) U.S. House
1790 William Blount (DR) [1] James White (DR) [2]
1796 John Sevier (DR) William Cocke (DR) William Blount (DR) [3] Andrew Jackson (DR) Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr (DR) Red XN
Andrew Jackson (DR) [4] Joseph Anderson (DR) William C. C. Claiborne (DR)
Daniel Smith (DR)
1799 Joseph Anderson (DR) William Cocke (DR)
1800 Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr (DR) Green tickY
1801 Archibald Roane (DR) William Dickson (DR)
1803 John Sevier (DR) 3 DR
1804 Thomas Jefferson and George Clinton (DR) Green tickY
1805 Daniel Smith (DR)
1808 James Madison and George Clinton (DR) Green tickY
1809 Willie Blount (DR)
Jenkin Whiteside (DR)
George W. Campbell (DR) [5]
1812 James Madison and Elbridge Gerry (DR) Green tickY
1813 6 DR
1814 Jesse Wharton (DR)
1815 Joseph McMinn (DR) George W. Campbell (DR)
John Williams (DR)
1816 James Monroe and Daniel D. Tompkins (DR) Green tickY
John Eaton (DR) [6]
1821 William Carroll (D-R) 5 DR ( 6th vacant)
1823 Andrew Jackson (DR) [4] 9 DR ( Jacksonian)
1824 Andrew Jackson Red XN and John C. Calhoun Green tickY (DR)
Hugh Lawson White (DR/D)
1827 Sam Houston (DR) [7] 8J, 1A-J
1828 Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun (D) Green tickY
William Hall (D) Felix Grundy (D) [8]
William Carroll (D)
1832 Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren (D) Green tickY
1833 12J, 1A-J
1835 Newton Cannon (W) 9A-J, 4J
1836 A-J Majority A-J Majority Hugh Lawson White (W) [4] Hugh Lawson White and John Tyler (W) Red XN
1837 10W, 3D
1838 18W, 7D 46W, 25D, 4?
Ephraim H. Foster (W)
1839 James K. Polk (D) Felix Grundy (D) [9] 7W, 6D
1840 14D, 11W 42D, 33W Alexander O. Anderson (D) William Henry Harrison and John Tyler (W) Green tickY
1841 James C. Jones (W) Alfred O. P. Nicholson (D) Vacant 8W, 5D
1842 13D, 12A 39W, 36D
1843 Ephraim H. Foster (W) Spencer Jarnagin (W) 6D, 5W
1844 14W, 11D 40W, 35D Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen (W) Red XN
1845 Aaron V. Brown (D) Hopkins L. Turney (D)
1846 13D, 12W 39D, 36W
1847 Neill S. Brown (W) John Bell (W/A)
1848 13W, 12D 41W, 34D Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore (W) Green tickY
1849 William Trousdale (D) 7D, 4W
1850 14D, 11W 39D, 36W
1851 William B. Campbell (W) James C. Jones (W)
1852 16W, 9D 39W, 36D Winfield Scott and William Alexander Graham (W) Red XN
1853 Andrew Johnson (D) 5D, 5W
1854 13D, 12A 44W, 31D 6W, 4D
1855 5D, 5A
1856 14A, 11D 38A, 37D James Buchanan and John C. Breckinridge (D) Green tickY
1857 Isham G. Harris (D) Andrew Johnson (D) 7D, 3A
1858 18D, 7A 42D, 33A
1859 Alfred O. P. Nicholson (D) 7O, 3D
1860 14D, 11O 41D, 34O John Bell and Edward Everett (CU) Red XN
1861 3U, (7 vacant)
1862 American Civil War American Civil War American Civil War
Andrew Johnson (DM) American Civil War
1863 American Civil War
1864 Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson (NU) Green tickY
1865 Edward H. East (R) [10]
William G. Brownlow (R)
1866 25R 79R, 4D David T. Patterson (D) Joseph S. Fowler (R) 8U
1867 8R
1868 83R Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax (R) Green tickY
1869 Dewitt Clinton Senter (R) William G. Brownlow (R)
1870 20D, 5R 66D, 17R
1871 John C. Brown (D) 22D, 3R 63D, 12R Henry Cooper (D) 6D, 2R
1872 Thomas A. Hendricks and Benjamin Gratz Brown (D) Red XN
1873 18D, 7R 49D, 26R 7R, 3D
1875 James D. Porter (D) 23D, 2R 70D, 5R Andrew Johnson (D) [9] 9D, 1R
David M. Key (D)
1876 Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas A. Hendricks (D) Red XN
1877 20D, 5R 59D, 16R James E. Bailey (D) Isham G. Harris (D) [9] 8D, 2R
1879 Albert S. Marks (D) 22D, 3R 61D, 14R 9D, 1R
1880 Winfield Scott Hancock and William Hayden English (D) Red XN
1881 Alvin Hawkins (R) 15D, 10R 37R, 37D, 1G [11] Howell Edmunds Jackson (D) [12] 7D, 3R
1883 William B. Bate (D) 27D, 6R 71D, 28R 8D, 2R
1884 Grover Cleveland and Thomas A. Hendricks (D) Green tickY
1885 22D, 11R 81D, 18R 7D, 3R
Washington C. Whitthorne (D)
1887 Robert Love Taylor (D) 21D, 12R 63D, 36R William B. Bate (D) [9] 8D, 2R
1888 Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman (D) Red XN
1889 23D, 10R 69D, 30R 7D, 3R
1891 John P. Buchanan (FA) 25D, 8R 79D, 20R 8D, 2R
1892 Grover Cleveland and Adlai Stevenson I (D) Green tickY
1893 Peter Turney (D) 25D, 6R, 1P, 1I 68D, 26R, 5P
1895 21D, 10R, 1P, 1U 60D, 32R, 7P 6D, 4R
1896 William Jennings Bryan and Arthur Sewall (D) Red XN
1897 Robert Love Taylor (D) 24D, 9R 63D, 32R, 4P 8D, 2R
Thomas B. Turley (D)
1899 Benton McMillin (D) 25D, 8R 77D, 22R
1900 William Jennings Bryan and Adlai Stevenson I (D) Red XN
1901 27D, 5R, 1ID 76D, 23R Edward W. Carmack (D)
1903 James B. Frazier (D) [13] 28D, 5R 83D, 16R
1904 Alton B. Parker and Henry G. Davis (D) Red XN
1905 80D, 19R
John I. Cox (D) James B. Frazier (D)
1907 Malcolm R. Patterson (D) 27D, 6R 78D, 21R Robert Love Taylor (D) [9]
1908 William Jennings Bryan and John W. Kern (D) Red XN
1909 28D, 5R 77D, 22R
1911 Ben W. Hooper (R) 21D, 7R, 4RD, 1I 74D, 25R Luke Lea (D)
1912 Newell Sanders (R) Woodrow Wilson and Thomas R. Marshall (D) Green tickY
1913 16D, 6R, 6RD, 5ID 52D, 27R, 20I William R. Webb (D)
John K. Shields (D)
1915 Tom C. Rye (D) 26D, 7R 72D, 27R
1917 27D, 6R Kenneth McKellar (D)
1919 A. H. Roberts (D) 26D, 7R
1920 Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge (R) Green tickY
1921 Alfred A. Taylor (R) 24D, 9R 66D, 32R, 1I 5D, 5R
1923 Austin Peay (D) [14] 28D, 5R 76D, 23R 8D, 2R
1924 John W. Davis and Charles W. Bryan (D) Red XN
1925 29D, 4R Lawrence Tyson (D) [9]
1927 Henry Hollis Horton (D) 28D, 5R 80D, 19R
1928 Herbert Hoover and Charles Curtis (R) Green tickY
1929 25D, 8R 72D, 27R
William Emerson Brock (D)
1931 28D, 5R 83D, 16R Cordell Hull (D) [15]
1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Nance Garner (D) Green tickY
1933 Harry Hill McAlister (D) 29D, 4R 81D, 18R Nathan L. Bachman (D) [9] 7D, 2R
1935 28D, 5R
1937 Gordon Browning (D) 29D, 4R
George L. Berry (D)
1939 Prentice Cooper (D) 83D, 16R Tom Stewart (D)
1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt and Henry A. Wallace (D) Green tickY
1943 30D, 3R 78D, 20R, 1I 8D, 2R
1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman (D) Green tickY
1945 Jim Nance McCord (D) 28D, 5R 75D, 24R
1947 29D, 4R 82D, 17R
1948 Harry S. Truman and Alben W. Barkley (D) Green tickY
1949 Gordon Browning (D) 80D, 19R Estes Kefauver (D) [9]
1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon (R) Green tickY
1953 Frank G. Clement (D) 28D, 5R 81D, 18R Al Gore, Sr. (D) 7D, 2R
1955 80D, 19R
1957 27D, 6R 78D, 21R
1959 Buford Ellington (D) 28D, 5R 82D, 17R
1960 Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (R) Red XN
1961 27D, 6R 81D, 18R
1963 Frank G. Clement (D) 78D, 21R Herbert S. Walters (D) 6D, 3R
1964 Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert Humphrey (D) Green tickY
1965 25D, 8R 74D, 25R Ross Bass (D)
1967 Buford Ellington (D) 58D, 41R Howard Baker (R) 5D, 4R
1968 Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew (R) Green tickY
1969 20D, 13R 49R, 49D, 1I [16]
1970 21D, 12R
1971 Winfield Dunn (R) 19D, 13R, 1A 56D, 43R Bill Brock (R)
1973 51D, 48R 5R, 3D
1975 Ray Blanton (D) 20D, 12R, 1I 63D, 35R, 1I 5D, 3R
1976 Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale (D) Green tickY
1977 23D, 9R, 1I 66D, 32R, 1I Jim Sasser (D)
1979 Lamar Alexander (R) 20D, 12R, 1I 60D, 38R, 1I
1980 Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush (R) Green tickY
1981 58D, 39R, 2I
1982 21D, 11R, 1I
1983 60D, 38R, 1I 6D, 3R
1984 22D, 11R
1985 23D, 10R 62D, 37R Al Gore (D) [17]
1987 Ned McWherter (D) 61D, 38R
1988 George H. W. Bush and Dan Quayle (R) Green tickY
1989 22D, 11R 59D, 40R
1991 20D, 13R 55D, 44R
1992 Bill Clinton and Al Gore (D) Green tickY
1993 19D, 14R 64D, 35R Harlan Matthews (D)
Fred Thompson (R) [18]
1995 Don Sundquist (R) 18D, 15R 59D, 40R Bill Frist (R) 5R, 4D
1996 17R, 16D [19]
1997 18D, 15R 61D, 38R
1999 59D, 40R
2000 George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (R) Green tickY
2001 18D, 15R 58D, 41R
2003 Phil Bredesen (D) 54D, 45R Lamar Alexander (R) 5D, 4R
2005 17R, 16D [20] 53D, 46R
2007 17R, 16D Bob Corker (R)
16R, 16D, 1I
16R, 15D, 1I
16R, 16D, 1I
2008 John McCain and Sarah Palin (R) Red XN
2009 19R, 14D 50R, 49D
49R, 49D, 1CCR [21]
2010 50R, 48D, 1I
2011 Bill Haslam (R) 20R, 13D 64R, 34D, 1I 7R, 2D
2012 Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (R) Red XN
2013 26R, 7D 71R, 27D, 1I
2015 28R, 5D 73R, 26D
2016 Donald Trump and Mike Pence (R) Green tickY
2017 74R, 25D
2018 26R, 5D, 2 vacancies
2019 Bill Lee (R) 28R, 5D 73R, 26D Marsha Blackburn (R)
Year Governor State Senate State House U.S. Senator (Class I) U.S. Senator (Class II) U.S. House Electoral College votes
Executive office State Legislature United States Congress

History of Political Parties in Tennessee

Pre-Civil War

In 1789, the land that would later become Tennessee became a territory of the United States and was known as the "Territory of the United States, South of the River Ohio." [22] Even though Tennessee was not yet a state, the citizens of the territory still needed institutions to govern over them, therefore William Blount was named the first official governor of Tennessee, James White became the state's first representative in Congress, and Tennessee's political party history was started. The majority party in Tennessee began as the Democratic-Republican party and remained this way until 1828 when the Democratic-Republican party dissolved and the Democratic Party was formed. [23]After 1828, the majority party in the Tennessee state government alternated between the Democratic Party and the Opposition Party until the American Civil War began in 1861. While these two parties fought for the majority during these years, the Know-Nothing Party, the Unionist Party, and the Constitutional Party all made appearances in the state government but did not possess the majority of citizens' votes.

Civil War to WWII

From the Civil War until World War II, Tennessee was controlled by the Democratic Party, albeit of the Southern Democrats wing of the party.

World War II to Present Day

During the period from 1939 until about 1970, there was a large control of the Democratic party in Tennessee. This was primarily due to the racial tensions that were still in place in the South, during this time and the granted right to vote to African Americans in the United States. [24] After 1970, there was a very noticeable shift in Tennessee back to a primarily red state. Today Tennessee overwhelmingly votes Republican.


  1. ^ Governor of Southwest Territory.
  2. ^ Delegate for Southwest Territory.
  3. ^ Expelled from the United States Senate for conspiring with the British to seize West Florida from Spain.
  4. ^ a b c Resigned.
  5. ^ Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury.
  6. ^ Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of War.
  7. ^ Resigned amidst personal scandals.
  8. ^ Resigned to take office as United States Attorney General.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Died in office.
  10. ^ Served as secretary of state of Tennessee from 1862 until 1865, having been appointed by Andrew Johnson, the military governor of the state under Union occupation during the American Civil War. After Johnson was inaugurated as vice president of the United States on March 4, 1865, East became "Acting Governor of Tennessee" until William G. Brownlow, the elected governor of Tennessee, was inaugurated on April 5, 1865. The official Tennessee Blue Book does not include East in its list of former Governors.
  11. ^ The Greenback member supported the Republicans in the vote for Speaker, giving them control of the chamber.
  12. ^ Resigned to take seat on the United States Circuit Court for the Sixth Circuit.
  13. ^ Resigned to take seat in the United States Senate.
  14. ^ Peay is the only Governor of Tennessee to have died in office. He was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Henry Hollis Horton.
  15. ^ Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of State.
  16. ^ The Independent and one Democrat supported Republican Bill Jenkins in the vote for Speaker, giving the Republicans control for the only time in the 20th Century. [1]
  17. ^ Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States.
  18. ^ First elected in special election.
  19. ^ Two Democratic Senators switched parties to Republican, giving the Republicans control.
  20. ^ Reelected John Shelton Wilder to the Senate Speaker position as a minority-party Speaker.
  21. ^ On February 10, the executive committee of the Tennessee Republican Party voted to strip Speaker of the House Kent Williams of his party affiliation after he colluded with Democrats to be elected speaker. Williams chose "Carter County Republican" as his new party designation.
  22. ^ "From Territory to State | Tennessee Secretary of State". sos.tn.gov. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  23. ^ "Democratic Party".
  24. ^ Dickey, John (December 2016). "The Decline of Agriculture and the Rise of Republican Party Strength in the South". University of Tennessee, Knoxville: 130.

See also