The Nation: An Early Alarm Bell For the G.O.P.

If any seat seemed safe for the Republicans it was that of the Fifth Congressional District in Michigan, which Gerald Ford had served for 25 years before becoming Vice President. Ford had always been re-elected with more than 61% of the vote; a Democrat had not held the seat since 1912. One month before last week's special election to fill Ford's seat, his hand-picked candidate, Robert VanderLaan, led Democrat Richard VanderVeen by 60% to 28% in the polls. But on election day in Grand Rapids and environs, VanderVeen won by 51% to 44%, with...