The Nation: Elections: Assessing the Contests

IT is an off off-year, and the elections held around the U.S. last week reflected the fact: local issues ruled local contests. The great national topics—the China visit, the Viet Nam War, even the general state of the economy—did not seem to cut many votes. People were more preoccupied with matters closer to home: their safety, their pocketbooks, their neighborhoods. The candidates who won responded to these needs—but not according to any fixed ideology. If law-and-order worked in Cleveland and Philadelphia, it failed in Boston. Blacks did not always vote in a bloc...

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