Filing Deadline: March 30
Nov. 4, 1998 America's oldest junior senator, 76-year-old Democrat Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, staved off a challenge from Republican Rep. Bob Inglis. The 30-year Senate veteran won the contest, 52 percent to 46 percent, with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
Issues: National Republicans targeted Hollings, and devoted considerable resources to helping Inglis defeat him. And as in many races this fall, the White House scandal gave them ammunition. Both Inglis and the state GOP portrayed Hollings as a close ally of President Clinton, urging Hollings to tell his "buddy" to resign.
Advertising: Inglis emerged from a five-month television hiatus on Oct. 6, when he released his second ad of the campaign. The spot attempted to counter charges that Hollings aired on television almost continuously since late August. HMO regulation was a recurring theme, in addition to attacks on Inglis's support of Republican health-care legislation.
By late September, Inglis had been on the air for only about 10 days. Although spots by the state party and the National Pro-Life Alliance boosted Inglis's ad campaign, television stations pulled some of those ads because TV executives thought certain images and language were inappropriate.
Hollings led the air war, but Inglis focused on a ground attack, traveling extensively statewide and touting his issues at candidate forums, including an Aug. 8 event Hollings declined to attend.
Fund-Raising: According to Federal Election Commission filings, Hollings raised about $4.5 million for this race, spent nearly $4.1 million and had just over $450,000 in cash on hand in mid-October. Inglis raised about $1.9 million, spent about $1.7 million and had $245,000 on hand in mid-October.
Polls: A media poll conducted in late September by Mason-Dixon Political/Media Research showed Hollings leading Inglis 49 percent to 42 percent, outside the survey's 3.5 percent margin of error. October internal polls showed a similar picture, though not surprisingly, each partisan poll favored its candidate.
Ryan Thornburg, washingtonpost.com
Ryan Thornburg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
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