Nation: A Fox at the Chicken Coop?

The Senate: Bitter Contests Between Oldtimers

Senate candidates flay each other in Illinois. Longtime enemies square off in New Hampshire. A challenger tries to pressure an aging Maryland Congressman into making a mistake. Some Senate and House races have a nasty, name-calling quality that makes the mostly clean-cut ideological contest in the House district centering on Eugene, Ore., all the more refreshing.

"If he whacks, I'll thump," vowed Democrat Alan Dixon early in his race against Republican Dave O'Neal for the Illinois Senate seat being vacated by Adlai Stevenson III, who is retiring....

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