"I would be very pleased if we get a majority in the Senate," said Republican National Chairman Meade Alcorn last week to reporters at the White House. "But I have to be candid with you and candid with myself. I don't think it's in the cards for this time."

As a candid forecaster, Alcorn scored well. The third of the Senate seats open this year were last filled in the piping Eisenhower year of 1952. Republicans, now a one-vote minority and short of coattails, have 21 seats to defend, while the Democrats risk only 13—six of them safe in one-party...

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