WEST GERMANY: Noisily Down to the Wire

If the rest of Western Europe could have voted in West Germany's election, the pollsters might have predicted a handsome majority for Social Democratic Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. The fact that his nation had weathered a worldwide recession far better than most major industrial powers would alone have assured an outpouring of admiration at the ballot boxes in almost any other country. But West Germans, drawn by the homespun conservative appeal of Christian Democratic Challenger Helmut Kohl, refused to let Schmidt rest comfortably on his record. Trying to keep pace with Kohl, 46,...