The daily collegian. (University Park, Pa.) 1940-current, October 28, 1986, Image 2

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    2—The Daily Collegian Tuesday, Oct. 28, 1986
election 'B6
It's the Democrats vs. Reagan
Collegian Staff Writer
President Reagan is noted for his
communication skills, persuasive
powers and exceptional management
style in running a national govern
ment from the top. In this 1986 mid
term election, Reagan could add
another remarkable achievement to
his political career by winning big in
an election where his name does not
even appear on the ballot.
news analysis
The president's popularity has
dropped only slightly since his land
slide victory over Walter Mondale in
1984. The Republicans will be count
ing on that popularity to maintain
control of the Senate and keep from
suffering major losses in the House of
Representatives. Democratic Party
leaders have said that without Rea
gan on the ballot and given the histo
ry of past mid-term elections, they
will gain in both chambers on Capitol
Hill and win in state party elections.
Last week, while President Reagan
began a 13-state political blitz in the
closing days of the campaign, he told
voters that they can cast their ballots
for him “one more time” by electing
Republican senators on Nov. 4.
Trying to transfer his popularity to
GOP candidates, Reagan coupled the
personal note with a patriotic appeal,
saying retention of a Republican Sen
ate would be important not just to
him but to the country.
Republicans have held the Senate
since Reagan’s first election as presi
dent in 1980 and now have a 53-47
The congressional race in central
Pennsylvania, pitting incumbent Re
publican William F. Clinger against
Democratic challenger Bill Wachob,
is typical of many House races across
the country that President Reagan
will play a strong role in determing
the outcome.
Over the last few weeks Centre
County has become a new dot on the
political landscape for both parties as
increased attention has been focused
to convert a once heavily Republican
dominated area to the Democratic
Colorado Sen. Gary Hart speaks to reporters at a campaign rally for Bill Wachob in the Congressional challenger s
hometown of Johnsonburg.
The presidency may ride
Collegian Staff Writer
Dust from this year’s congressio
nal and state campaigns has yet to
settle, but already certain names
are being' whispered as possible
contenders for the 1988 presidential
news analysis
Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, New
York Gov. Mario Cuomo and Sen.
Gary Hart of Colorado look to be the
Democrats’ most promising pros
Meanwhile, the Republicans,
hard-pressed to find a contender
equaling Ronald Reagan’s populari
ty, are left with the bland Vice
President George Bush, evangelist
Pat Robertson and Rep. Jack Kemp
of New York.
It’s not unusual for political grou
pies to begin looking toward the next
presidential campaign moments af
ter the newly elected president
takes the oath.
Says Jeffrey Lord, White House
associate director for political af
fairs, “I guarantee that after the
1988 election the political commu
nity will shift its eyes to 1992.”
What few realize when prema
turely bandying these names about
is that the upshot of this year’s
political polling, fund raising and
President Reagan waves as he leaves the White House last week on his way to a nationwide sweep campaigning on
behalf of Republican candidates.
Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole
and Vice President George Bush have
appeared in the Republican corner of
the 23rd District while House Majori
ty Leader Jim Wright and Presi
dential hopeful Gary Hart have made
appearances for the ' Democratic
Bill Wachob’s showing in. 1984 elec
tion has turned heads in Washington
at the national Republican headquar
ters after he came within 6,000 votes
of upsetting Clinger in the election.
In 1984, U.S. Rep. William F. Cling
er enjoyed the popularity of most
Republicans as Reagan was winning
every state except Minnesota. The
nation was enjoying*a time of eco
nomic recovery and peace at home
and abroad. Young voters especially
identified with the chief executive
and the party as one with upward
Two years later, GOP popularity
mudslinging may have great bear
ing on who becomes the nation’s
next president, experts say.
If the Democrats, who already
command a 253-182 majority in the
House, capture control of the Sen
remains strong but terrorist attacks
on Americans abroad, cuts in student
aid and a $220 billion budget deficit
will' hurt the party’s chances for
victory next week.
During Dole’s visit, Clinger said
Reagan’s popularity won’t hurt his
chances against his Democratic op
ponent. Many state and federal po
litical officials believe this could be
the understatement of the campaign.
GOP congressmen suffered a scare
earlier this month after the Iceland
pre-summit negotiations failed and
many observers blamed Reagan’s
insistence on keeping alive plans for a
Star Wars system despite a lack of
scientific knowledge about the tech
However, the administration’s full
scale public relations campaign,
which started with an address to the
nation the day following the talks, has
influenced public opinion. In the past
B••■- 11 1 * • • •* * f **••••••
ate, they will be in the position to
make a number of policy proposals
that could form the basis of a 1988
presidential campaign, says Ameri
can politics expert James
week, Reagan has argued that the
Reykjavik meeting was a broad suc
cess. His direct appeal has appeared
to work.
According to an ABC news poll, 78
percent of those polled last week said
the summit would make no difference
in how they will vote in the congres
sional election. The poll also showed
that 60 percent of Americans approve
of Reagan’s policies toward the Sovi
et Union.
Abscence at voting times, funding
from questionable sources and voting
on higher education funding are being
debated by both candidates but Ging
er's support of Reagan’s second term
may be the most vital determining
factor in the outcome next Tuesday.
With a strong support of the nation
al Democratic Party, Wachob has
said the renewed interest in the cen
tral Pennsylvania district may de
tract from Reagan’s popularity.
Vice President George Bush speaks at a campaign luncheon on behalf of U.S. Rep. William F. Clinger in Dubois.
Clinger is a Republican running for re-election in the 23rd District in 1986.
on outcome of 'B6 race
Todd Bernstein, press spokesman
for the state- Democratic Party,
calls the quest for Senate control the
“$64,000 question.” ,
To gain a majority in the Senate,
the Democrats, now holding 47 of
Wachob and Democratic Senate
candidate Bob Edgar are counting on
the young vote again this year be
cause .they said the Republican
Gramm-Rudman bill has brought
savage budget cuts to student aid.
One irritant to Specter was remov
ed last week when Robert Smith of
Harrisburg dropped his independent
conservative write-in campaign for
U.S. Senate.
Smith, former Dauphin County Re
publican chairman, had criticized
both Edgar and Specter as being too
liberal for Pennsylvania and com
plained that Specter had not supports
ed the president enough.
Specter said he has always had the
best interests of Pennsylvania in
mind and was never afraid to differ in
opinion with President Reagan. He
said the president is supporting his
re-election bid.
On the Wright visit to a Democratic
party rally, Wachob said: “Reagan’s
popularity helped Clinger in ’B4
but it will not carry congressional
candidates in 1986 without Reagan on
the ballot.”
Wright has accused Ginger of
going along with all of Reagan’s
policies even if they are not good for
his home district. The senior House
member from Texas compared the
manner that Ginger follows Rea
gan’s ideas to the way “a clown pulls
the prize bull across the ring at the
county fair.”
Ginger’s supporters disagree. Vice
President George Bush said at a
Ginger rally in Dubois that the Penn
sylvania congressman does not al
ways vote with the president. Bush
admits, though, that President Rea
gan does count on Ginger’s vote on
the 100 seats, only need to gain four.
This may not be too difficult consid
ering that out of 34 Senate races, 22
seats are held by Republicans,
Bernstein said.
“The law of averages says we’re
not going to win all 22,” Lord, a
Republican, said. “But we’re put
ting on a full-court press for those
Republicans realize they must do
something to protect the Reagan
administration from paralysis dur
ing its last two years. A Democratic
victory in Congress could relegate
Reagan to lame duck status and
seize some of the GOP’s fervor.
It also could elevate several Dem
ocrats to chairmanship status, giv
ing prominence and greater public
display to presidential-seeking sen
ators, said Robert Friedman, Uni
versity professor of political
But controlling a committee is not
necessarily an advantage to aspir
ing presidential candidates, he said.
Serious-minded' committee chair
men have difficulty finding time to
campaign while holding responsibi
lities on Capitol Hill.
“It’s one of the great ironies of
American politics,” Friedman said.
“You used to have to hold political
office to get elected. Now you al
most have to be out of office.”
Both Jimmy Carter and Ronald
Reagan captured the presidency
after completing their years govern
ing Georgia and California.
Nevertheless, Democratic sen-
the tough and important issues such
as deficit reduction plans.
At the .state level, gubernatorial
candidate Bob Casey’s running mate
Mark Singel said the Democratic
Party faces a real challenge this year
because their candidates “not only
have to beat their opponent but they
have to beat Ronald Reagan.”
Singel said Republicans will face a
rude awakening in two weeks be
cause the majority of the people have
negative feelings toward the GOP’s
negative state, federal policy and
slick media advertising.
Although the Pennsylvania state
senator recognizes Reagan’s popular
ity as a force to be reckoned with, he
said that with the Democratics gain
ing 78 percent of the vote last year,
popularity cannot be transferred
from one level to another.
Gov. Dick Thornburgh’s administa
tion has closely followed the Republi
cans’ Reaganomics plan and other
presidential policies, Singel said state
residents now want “a governor that
will stop being a cheerleader for
Reaganomics and start dealing for
the state that has been devastated by
federal budget cuts.”
Reagan’s influence has drifted far
beyond the waters of the Potomac.
His popular style and leadership in
times of national crises may indeed
result in strengthening the GOP Sen
ate majority. If Reagan has lost the
appeal of the grass-root voter it could
very well bring the Democrats to
power in the Senate.
With a Democratic control of the
House and Senate, Reagan would
face an uphill battle on every biparti
san issue, making the “gipper” a true
lame duck.
ators, such as Biden, would gain
visibility if the GOP lost control of
the senate. And Republican sen
ators, such as Dole, would relin
quish center stage.
“But there’s no assurance the
candidate will come from the sen
ate,” Friedman said.
And there’s no assurance a Demo
cratic takeover of the senate would
aid the party in its quest to control
the White House in 1988.
In 1946, America had an incum
bent Democratic president, but Re
publicans controlled both houses of
“Truman ran against the do-noth
ing congress, and not only did he
win, but he carried congress with
him,” Friedman said. “So some
argue that controlling congress
could be a mixed blessing.”
If the Democrats captured the
Senate and an economic recession
hit in 1987 or 1988, the Republican
controlled executive branch and the
Democratic congress would accuse
each other, he said.
“On the whole voters are likely to
blame the people who control the
executive branch,” Friedman said.
“If we have a recession it would
probably hurt the Republicans, but
they could make a stab at blaming
the policies of the Democrats for the
But regaining control of the Sen
ate would put the Democrats in
control of the congressional agenda,
creating legislation for Reagan to
accept or veto, Bernstein said.
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The Daily Collegian Tuesday, Oct. 28, 198G —3
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Committee Invite You To A
112 Kern