Advertisement

CAMPAIGN 2000

What to Watch

November 07, 2000

KEY SENATE RACES

A surprisingly large number of Senate races remain in play, keeping alive Democratic hopes of capturing a majority.

*

Current Makeup: 54 Republicans; 46 Democrats

*

EAST COAST

NEW YORK

Open seat

Hillary Rodham Clinton would make history by going from first lady to senator. She and GOP Rep. Rick Lazio are vying to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. A Clinton victory would establish her as a party leader; a Lazio triumph would be a huge blow to the Democratic bid to win the Senate.

DELAWARE

The state's two most popular politicians--five-term GOP Sen. William V. Roth Jr. and two-term Democratic Gov. Thomas Carper--are locked in a tight race that appears crucial to the overall Senate fight. Carper ran an uninspired campaign, but Roth, 79, may have been hurt politically by recent falls that called attention to his age.

NEW JERSEY

Open seat

Democrat Jon Corzine, former CEO of the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs & Co., is sparing no expense to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg. Corzines campaign expenses may total $65 millioneasily a record for a Senate race and much of it his own money. Republican Rep. Bob Franks is banking on a voter backlash to Corzines spending.

*

SOUTH

FLORIDA

Open seat

Democrat Bill Nelson, the state insurance commissioner, appeared on track to win the seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Connie Mack. But the GOP candidate, Rep. Bill McCollum, has come on strong in recent days. A win by McCollum, a House impeachment manager, would buoy GOP spirits.

VIRGINIA

A win by Republican George Allen over Democratic Sen. Charles Robb would help provide the GOP a cushion against losses elsewhere. Allen, son of the famed football coach of the same name, was the early favorite, but the race has tightened.

*

MIDWEST

MICHIGAN

GOP Sen. Spencer Abraham and Democratic Rep. Debbie Stabenow have waged a spirited campaign that looks to go down to the wire; both parties view the outcome as a key indicator of the Senate battle. Abraham, one of the GOP's freshman class of 1994, dominated the state's airwaves early on and opened up a lead. But Stabenow staged a comeback focusing on Abrahams vote against a Democratic-sponsored patients bill of rights.

MINNESOTA

Rod Grams rode the '94 GOP wave to a surprise Senate win. But his conservative voting record does not match up well with his constituency, making him the nation's most vulnerable Republican incumbent. Democrat Mark Dayton, running on a liberal agenda, has enjoyed a solid lead in the polls.

MISSOURI

Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan died in a mid-October plane crash and still may defeat GOP Sen. John Ashcroft. Carnahan's name remains on the ballot, and support for him surged following his death. If he wins, the state's acting governor has pledged to appoint Carnahan's widow, Jean, to the fill the seat.

*

WEST

NEVADA

Open seat

In the GOP's brightest hope for gaining a seat, Republican John Ensign, a former House member, is favored to beat Democrat Ed Bernstein, a lawyer. The seat opened up when Democrat Richard Bryan decided to retire.

MONTANA

A late surge by Democrat Brian Schweitzer, a rancher who has focused his campaign on health-care issues, has endangered GOP Sen. Conrad Burns. A Schweitzer victory is the type of upset the Democrats probably need to win the Senate.

WASHINGTON

Veteran GOP Sen. Slade Gorton faces a strong challenge from Democrat Maria Cantwell, who after losing her House seat in 1994 became a wealthy executive at an Internet company. Cantwell would be the first senator with a direct link to the contempory computer and communications industry. Native Americans have organized to defeat Gorton because of his attempts to limit tribal sovereignty.

*

KEY HOUSE RACES

Control of the House hinges on the outcome of a few dozen races, including several in California. Even before the polls have closed here, a handful of contests elsewhere should provide crucial clues about the day's trends.

*

Current makeup: 222 Republicans, 209 Democrats, two independents, two vacancies.

*

STATES WITH 3 P.M. (PST) POLL CLOSINGS:

INDIANA

8th District (Bloomington, Evansville)

Known as the Bloody Eighth because of its history of close races, the district is living up to its reputation. GOP incumbent John Hostettler is trying to thwart a strong challenge from Democrat Paul Perry; a Hostettler loss would be a big blow to Republicans.

KENTUCKY

3rd District (Louisville area)

GOP Rep. Ann Northup has won two tough races in this Democratic-leaning district, and her bid for a third term figures to be tight. A win by Democrat Eleanor Jordan could signal a good night for the party.

*

EAST COAST

NEW JERSEY

7th District (state's north-central suburbs)

Open seat (held by the GOP)

The race between Democrat Maryanne Connelly and Republican Mike Ferguson has been rated a tossup for months, and each party views this contest as vital to their overall hopes.

12th District (Princeton area)

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|