THE GOP BITES BACK . . .

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Republicans launched a $2 million national ad blitz today designed to hit back at Democrats for slamming their ReaganiteContract With Americaand aimed right at voter pocketbooks. "Clinton and his Democrat Congress control Washington and what do we get?" one ad says. "More taxes, more spending, more government. That's not what we were promised. And that's not what this country needs." Another spot showcases the now infamous leaked OMB memo that raises the prospect of administration schemes to slash Social Security and Medicare. Will the ads play?TIME senior correspondent Laurence I. Barrettthinks the GOP timing may be off. In midterm contests, he says, "Republicans tend to try to nationalize elections and Democrats tend to localize elections. And we're at the stage now where candidates are back home and local issues and debates come into play."