John Was a Popular Name When Many Senators Were Born
Election results still aren’t final, but we do know the US Senate has gone to the john – or, more precisely, to the johns. There will be four Democrats and six Republicans named John or Jon who will serve in the Senate starting in January.
The 10 Senate Johns, the name of 5 percent of American males, will outnumber Black and Hispanic senators. Black and Latino Americans make up 31 percent of the total population.
In the current Congress, 11 House members are Johns, less than 3 percent of the 435 congressional representatives. Congressional records confirm there always has been a John serving in Congress.
History buffs will be quick to note four Presidents have been Johns (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John Tyler and John F. Kennedy) – almost 9 percent of our 46 chief executives. Former President Donald Trump’s middle name is John. There have been a number of unsuccessful presidential candidates named John – John Fremont (1856), John Bell and John Breckinridge (1860), John Anderson (1980), John Kerry (2004) and John McCain (2008). John Quincy Adams lost two presidential bids in 1820 and in 1828.
In the last 100 years, according to the Social Security Administration, more than 4.4 million male babies have been named John, the third most popular name behind James and Robert.
The average age of senators is around 64 years old, which means many of the Senate Johns were born in the 1950s when the name reached its zenith in popularity. In 2021, less than 1 percent of male babies were named John.
There wasn’t a Jon in the Senate until 1995 following the election of Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl. There are two Democratic Jons serving in the Senate – Jon Tester of Montana and Jon Ossoff of Georgia. [Ossoff goes by Jon, but his actual first name is Thomas and his middle name is Jonathan. Jon is also Tester’s middle name. His first name is Raymond.]
The latest John to join the Senate John club is Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman, who defeated Dr. Mehmet Oz to replace retiring GOP Senator Pat Toomey.
Other current Senate Johns beside Tester and Osoff include John Boozman (R-Arkansas), John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana and no relation to President Kennedy), John Hoevan (R-North Dakota), John Thune (R-South Dakota), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming).
If you want a seat in the Senate, you might consider a name change to increase your odds
Aspiring politicians in search of a lodestar might consider a name change to John, Jon or Jane to get a leg up in a congressional quest. Your chances are better than the odds.