Here´s a review of the 1994 elections about 1 week before the elections:
THE 1994 CAMPAIGN: THE SENATE; G.O.P. HOLDING ON IN TIGHT CONTEST TO RULE SENATE
By RICHARD L. BERKE
Published: October 31, 1994
After a tumultuous week of campaigning in which Democrats proclaimed that they were gaining steam, statewide polls published yesterday showed that the fight for control of the Senate was still neck-and-neck.
Indeed, the two Republican Senators whom the Democrats say they have the best chance of picking off -- William V. Roth Jr. of Delaware and Conrad Burns of Montana -- have opened wide leads over their Democratic challengers, according to polls conducted for major newspapers in those two states.
Even more discouraging for Democrats, after weeks of a virtual dead heat in Pennsylvania, Representative Rick Santorum, a Republican, has pulled ahead of the incumbent Democrat, Senator Harris Wofford, in that state's latest poll. The survey of likely voters statewide, conducted for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WTAE-TV, showed that Mr. Santorum had 46 percent and Mr. Wofford 35 percent. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points.
And in Michigan, a poll of likely voters made public on Saturday night by WXYZ-TV found that Spence Abraham, the Republican, has gained over Representative Bob Carr, 46 percent to 34 percent. Another poll last week showed Mr. Carr slightly ahead.
Despite these troubling indicators, Vice President Al Gore was upbeat yesterday about Democratic prospects as he suggested that the party would catch up in the final full week of campaigning.
"I think the wind is at the backs of Democratic candidates now," Mr. Gore said on the ABC News program "This Week," "especially those who have the courage to vote for a change in our economic blueprint."
To drive home that message, President Mr. Clinton will begin a weeklong campaign tour today, beginning with appearances in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for Mr. Wofford and the Democratic candidate for governor, Mark Singel.
Democratic officials are emphasizing that, after two debates, polls show that Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who had been considered one of the most endangered incumbents, is now clearly ahead of his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. Democratic Senate candidates have also gained ground, although not the leads, in Arizona, California, Vermont and Washington.
And as the campaigning has grown more intense in recent days and incumbents have returned home from Washington, there has been some other promising news for Democrats. Mr. Clinton's popularity ratings have risen after his recent foreign policy successes in Haiti and Kuwait as well as his presence at the treaty signing between Israel and Jordan. Democrats are chipping away at the edge held by Republicans in national polls in which people are asked whom they will support for Congress.
In California, Representative Michael Huffington, a Republican, is on the defensive in his effort to unseat Senator Dianne Feinstein over the disclosure that he employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny.
But even with Mr. Kennedy's lead and Mr. Huffington's troubles, several analysts said it would still be very possible -- though certainly not assured -- for Republicans to win the seven seats they need to take control of the Senate. There are now 56 Democrats and 44 Republicans in the Senate. Republicans are ahead or in neck-and-neck races for nine open seats. Of the 10 Republican incumbents seeking re-election, almost all have comfortable leads; 5 Democratic incumbents are in contests that could go either way.
"There's a lot of tightening in these races," said Charles Cook, who publishes a nonpartisan political newsletter. "But I'm still doubtful of the Democrats' ability to turn it around. The conventional wisdom is the Democrats are picking up a lot of steam, but I think it's a lot of wishful thinking."
In Montana, Mr. Burns was thought to be in trouble, particularly after the Senator repeated a rancher's racial slur -- an episode that drew headlines in the state. But a poll of likely voters published yesterday by Lee Newspapers and conducted by Political Media Research Inc., found that Mr. Burns held a 51 percent-to-37 percent lead over his Democratic opponent, Jack Mudd, who is a former law school dean. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
And in Delaware, Democratic officials said they were particularly disappointed that the Democrat, Attorney General Charles M. Oberly 3d, had been unable to make inroads against Mr. Roth, whom he has portrayed as out of touch with the state after four terms. A poll in yesterday's News-Journal in Wilmington, conducted by Louis Harris & Associates, found that Mr. Roth drew 53 percent of likely voters, and Mr. Oberly 37 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
"To be completely honest, that's very different from what we thought it was going to be," Kim James, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said.
Ken Klein, the Democratic Senatorial Committee's communications director, later sought to cast the results in more positive terms than Ms. James. He raised questions about how the Delaware poll was conducted and emphasized the other states where Democrats appeared to be showing marked improvement but were mostly still behind. "The overall picture in the last 10 days has been a net positive," Mr. Klein said.
But James R. Soles, a political scientist at the University of Delaware, said Democrats who had set their sights on the seat did not realize that voters in the state rarely turn out incumbents. "Once it takes politicians to its heart, Delaware doesn't lightly turn them aside," Mr. Soles said. "I have never termed Mr. Roth vulnerable."
Republicans, who last controlled the Senate in 1986, could not contain their glee over the latest polls.
"I am absolutely convinced that Republicans are going to win the United States Senate on Nov. 8," said Gary Koops, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "There's not a Republican incumbent in the country who's trailing in any poll -- that points out that it's not just anti-incumbent. There's an anti-Democratic element to the voters' mood."http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50E10FC355B0C728FDDA90994DC494D81