Battling Down the Stretch

Debates in Tehran and Cleveland bring the campaign to a climax

Seldom has an American election headed into such a wildly unpredictable windup.

Suddenly, the years of campaign planning, the months of oratory, the endless procession of TV spots, handshaking tours, charge and countercharge seemed little more than an arduous overture to the possibility that Iran would decide to release the 52 American hostages, and to the reality of the face-to-face TV confrontation this week between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. How the debates in Tehran and Cleveland are decided could fulfill the dreams of one candidate while shattering those of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!