WHEN ARLEN SPECTER WAS INTRODUCED at Iowa's state G.O.P. convention last June as Anita Hill's chief inquisitor, the crowd cheered. When he started talking about the intolerance taking over their party, however, they shifted in their seats. When he talked about the necessary division between church and state, they booed.

He was inspired. "I didn't make the strong push to run until I was booed in Iowa," says the Pennsylvania Senator. He was convinced by that rebuke that the social extremism that had so disturbed him during the 1992 G.O.P. convention had taken control of the party. His candidacy would offer...

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