Cover Story: Races to Watch

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Republican Incumbent John Vanderhoof, 52, who supported the Winter Olympics, is doing his best to recoup. He recently asked the forest service to delay a permit for a new ski area in the state, and he joined Lamm in supporting a ballot initiative against further nuclear tests in gas pockets under the westernslopes of the rockies. But Vanderhoof confronts an increasing Democratic registration, largly from among new arrivals in the fast-growing state. Lamm favored.

ALEXANDER V. BLANTON The Tennessee race is a test of whether the G.O.P. can maintain its momentum in the South despite Watergate and the economy. In succession, voters elected William E. Brock and Howard H. Baker Jr. to the Senate and Winfield Dunn to the statehouse. Now Lamar Alexander, 34, who managed both the Baker and Dunn campaigns, is seeking to replace Dunn, whose term is up. His Democratic opponent, Leonard Ray Blanton, 44, is using Alexander's youth against him. The governorship, he scoffs, is no post for a "choirboy."

That description could certainly not be applied to Blanton, a wily politician who has served three terms in Congress and is trying to put back together the old black-labor coalition in Tennessee. Blanton leads, though Alexander is gaining.

The Senate


The G.O.P. could not have picked a stronger candidate than Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar, 42, to try to unseat Birch Bayh, 46. But even the best does not seem to be good enough. Articulate but a trifle stiff, Lugar, a Rhodes scholar, fails to warm up audiences or attract big ones. His cool style may hurt him more than the pardon and the economy—and the fact that he was long known as "President Nixon's favorite mayor."

The handsome Bayh, on the other hand, has no equal in Indiana for exuding charm everywhere from plant gates to campuses. Though Lugar has tried to make an issue of all the big spending bills that Bayh has championed in the Senate, Bayh blithely claims that he was actually a budget cutter—an exaggeration, but the voters take him at his word. Bayh out front.

CLARK v. JAVITS Few politicians in the U.S. seemed more durable than Jacob Javits, 70. During his 18 years in the Senate, his base appeared to be impregnable. He had the best of two worlds. As a Republican, he drew conservative votes in upstate New York. As a relatively liberal Jewish New Yorker, he won most of the votes of the city's Jewish population. But cracks have begun to appear in his base. Always worried about the threat from the right, he tended to take his left for granted. Thus he dismayed liberals by his tardy opposition to the Viet Nam War and his failure to speak out on the Watergate scandal.

Now that he is vulnerable on the left, he is faced with a determined attack from that direction. Ramsey Clark, 46, is a transplanted Texan with no New York political experience.

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