THE CAMPAIGN: AVOIDING A KNOCKOUT IN THE CLOSING ROUNDS

Like two wary prizefighters, each convinced that he will win by a decision if only he can avoid being kayoed, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter last week feinted and jabbed, bobbed and weaved. If either had a knockout punch, he kept it under wraps. That was true throughout the week, but most emphatically during the third and final presidential debate.

The reason for the candidates' caution was clear: although the polls continue to give Carter an edge, it is extremely narrow. A new TIME-Yankelovich survey for Oct. 16 to 19, updated after the...

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