A Letter From The Publisher, Nov. 17, 1980

On Aug. 2,1978, Illinois Congressman Philip Crane stepped before a bank of microphones and television cameras in Washington and became the first candidate to declare his hopes in the 1980 presidential election. From Crane's opening hurrah down to the final tumultuous hours, TIME has followed the candidates mile by mile through the longest and most arduous campaign in recent history. As always, the goal was to produce clear, perceptive and colorful coverage, an effort that culminates with this week's special election issue.

This edition went to press three days earlier than usual, meeting deadlines unparalleled in TIME history, and includes the...

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