McCarthy was a U.S. senator who lent his name to the term "McCarthyism". In the 1950's, McCarthy dominated the U.S. political climate. He served for three years as a circuit judge. In 1946 he won the Republican nomination for the Senate. He rose to importance in February 1950 when his public charge that 205 communists had infiltrated the State Department. When the Republicans lost control of the Senate in the midterm elections in November of 1954, McCarthy was replaced as chairman of the investigating committee. McCarthy was ignored by his colleagues and by the media and died before he finished his second term in office.