United States Senate election in Virginia, 1994

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United States Senate election in Virginia, 1994

← 1988 November 7, 1994 2000 →
Turnout 43.6% (voting eligible)[1]
  Charles robb.jpg Oliver North mugshot crop.png No image.svg
Nominee Chuck Robb Oliver North J. Marshall Coleman
Party Democratic Republican Independent
Popular vote 938,376 882,213 235,324
Percentage 45.6% 42.9% 11.4%

U.S. Senate election results map. Blue denotes counties/districts won by Robb. Red denotes those won by North.

U.S. senator before election

Chuck Robb

Elected U.S. Senator

Chuck Robb

The 1994 United States Senate election in Virginia was held on November 7, 1994. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Robb won re-election to a second term.


Oliver North was a very controversial figure as he was involved in the Iran-Contra Affair, a scandal during Ronald Reagan's presidency. Marshall Coleman attempted to seize the middle ground between Robb and North. Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia endorsed Marshall Coleman. On the eve of the election, former first lady Nancy Reagan told a reporter that North had lied to her husband when discussing Iran-Contra with the former president, effectively eviscerating him. North's candidacy was documented in the 1996 film A Perfect Candidate.[2]

In his failed bid to unseat Robb, North raised $20.3 million in a single year through nationwide direct mail solicitations, telemarketing, fundraising events, and contributions from major donors. About $16 million of that amount was from direct mail alone. This was the biggest accumulation of direct mail funds for a statewide campaign to that date, and it made North the top direct mail political fundraiser in the country in 1994.[3]

Douglas Wilder, the first black Governor of Virginia, who served from 1990-1994, originally entered the Senate race as an independent before dropping out.

General election



Source Date Robb (D) North (R) Coleman (I) Wilder (I)
Mason-Dixon November 1-2, 1994 37% 36% 17%
Roanoke College October 27-30, 1994 39% 35% 14%
Mason-Dixon October 15-17, 1994 33% 37% 16%
Mason-Dixon September 22-24, 1994 33% 35% 18%
Mason-Dixon September 8-11, 1994 33% 28% 15% 12%
Virginia Commonwealth University July 7-15, 1994 29% 29% 11% 16%


General election results[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Chuck Robb (inc.) 938,376 45.61% -25.64%
Republican Oliver North 882,213 42.88% +14.18%
Independent J. Marshall Coleman 235,324 11.44%
Write-ins 1,550 0.08%
Majority 56,163 2.73% -39.83%
Turnout 2,057,463
Democratic hold Swing


  1. Dr. Michael McDonald (March 25, 2013). "Turnout 1980-2012". George Mason University. Retrieved April 3, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. IMDb: A Perfect candidate
  3. "Ollie, Inc.: how Oliver North raised over $20 million in a losing U.S. Senate race". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-09-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/1994/94Stat.htm