Watch CBSN Live

Switching Parties Through History

Members of Congress who have changed political parties since the 1950s. In the past 20 years, 14 Democrats have switched to the Republican Party, while only one Republican has become a Democrat.

Democrats to the GOP:

Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, in 1995.

Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, in 1994.

Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, in 1983. He joined the GOP while in the House. He was re-elected to the House and then to the Senate.

Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, in 1964.

Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia, in 2000. He first changed to be independent. Later he switched to the Republican Party.

Rep. Nathan Deal of Georgia, in 1995.

Rep. Greg Laughlin of Texas, in 1995. In the following election, he lost in the primary.

Rep. Billy Tauzin of Louisiana, in 1995.

Rep. Mike Parker of Mississippi, in 1995,

Rep. Jimmy Hayes of Louisiana, in 1995. In the next election, he lost a bid for Senate.

Rep. Tommy Robinson of Arkansas, in 1989.

Rep. Bill Grant of Florida, in 1989. He lost re-election in 1990.

Rep. Andy Ireland of Florida, in 1984.

Rep. Eugene Atkinson, of Pennsylvania, in 1981. He was defeated for re-election in 1982.

Democrat to Independent:

Sen. Harry Byrd Jr. of Virginia, in 1971.

Republican to Democrat:

Rep. Michael Forbes of New York, in 1999. He lost re-election in 2000.

Sen. Wayne Morse of Oregon, in 1952, switched to become an independent. In 1955, he switched to the Democratic Party.

Switch back:

Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire, became independent in 1999 during a failed run for the presidency. He returned to the Republican Party.

Sources: Senate Library and Associated Press reports.

© MMI The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue