The Nation: On the Track of Lean Cats

The case of Democratic Senator Birch Bayh illustrates how a candidate's chances for success in 1976 can be shaped by the new rules on fund raising. "The thing we were watching the court for," says Bayh's finance director, Myer Feldman, "the thing that would have changed the entire nature of the campaign, was a ruling that would have lifted the limit on contributions. It's that $1,000 limit that has caused the problems."

Indeed it has. For all practical purposes, Bayh is close to insolvency. For that he can blame the finance law—and himself. He badly miscalculated the impact of the legislation, particularly...