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C-SPAN video of the Oct. 4 debate (RealVideo required)

Illinois Senate

Filing Deadline: Dec. 15, 1997
Primary: March 17

Nov. 4, 1998 — Republican state Sen. Peter Fitzgerald ousted Democratic Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, one of 1998's most embattled incumbents. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Fitzgerald won 51 percent to Moseley-Braun's 47 percent.

Issues: Moseley-Braun hit Fitzgerald for his positions on crime and gun control, criticizing his vote in the state Senate for legislation to allow people to carry concealed weapons. Fitzgerald supported tax cuts, and the two also battled about education, health care and Social Security.

Advertising: Fitzgerald's $13 million loan to his own campaign financed advertising on issues including abortion and education throughout the contest. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton stumped for Moseley-Braun both on the campaign trail and in advertising. But the incumbent's mea culpa commercial, in which she apologized to voters about mistakes she made during her Senate tenure, was the most extraordinary.

Polls: A poll conducted Oct. 24-26 by Mason-Dixon Political/Media Research showed Fitzgerald with 49 percent and Moseley-Braun with 41 percent – her closest margin during most of the campaign. A poll by Zogby International for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch showed Moseley-Braun pulling slightly ahead, but within the 4 percent margin of error: 45 percent to Fitzgerald's 42 percent. A survey for WLS-TV by Richard Day Research showed Fitzgerald with 50 percent and Moseley-Braun with 40 percent.

Fund-Raising: Moseley-Braun raised $6.1 million, spent nearly $5.9 million and had about $265,000 in cash on hand in mid-October. Fitzgerald raised about $15.6 million, including nearly $12.6 million he loaned his campaign, spent about $15.3 million and had $330,000 in hand.

— Lisa Todorovich,

Lisa Todorovich can be reached at

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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