Partisan divisions over campaign-finance revision intensified in the Senate yesterday as Republicans vowed to continue opposing spending limits and public financing for senatorial elections and Democrats stuck by their demand for both provisions in a bid for compromise on the issue.

Only two days after leaders of both parties expressed optimism about reaching an accord, Minority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) laid down conditions for a settlement that Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) said could scuttle the whole bill.

"If they stick with their position and we can't get cloture {to end a GOP filibuster} . . . we'll never get the legislation," said Byrd, noting that the 54-member Democratic majority cannot muster the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster without Republican help.

In an attempt to pick up GOP support, Byrd and Sen. David L. Boren (D-Okla.), cosponsors of the Democratic bill, proposed modifications in that would cut the amount of public financing -- and hence the cost to taxpayers -- by at least half.

Spending limits were retained, as were proposed limits on contributions by political action committees (PACs), but the effective date of the legislation was delayed until the 1990 elections. It had originally been proposed to take effect for next year's races.

But Republicans had already caucused on the issue and decided to empower Dole to negotiate with Byrd on a compromise so long as it excluded spending limits and public financing and applied to House as well as Senate races. "Beyond that, we're wide open," said Dole, prompting a rejoinder from Byrd that the Republicans were simply trying to scuttle spending limits.

As Republicans have done in the week-long debate on the measure, Dole emphasized GOP opposition to public financing of senatorial elections, saying that he does not think that the "American people are jumping up and down {demanding} that taxpayers pay for our campaigns." Byrd contended that Republicans are using opposition to public financing as a "smokescreen" to hide their more fundamental opposition to spending limits.

As a starting point for the negotiations, the Republicans also embraced a bill sponsored by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) that includes provisions to reduce the limit on PAC contributions while raising ceilings for individual gifts. Another bill that also has considerable Republican support would bar PAC contributions entirely.

In yesterday's maneuvering over the legislation, Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) raised objections to the bill on budgetary grounds under a procedure that required only a majority vote for a budget waiver. The Democrats succeeded, 46 to 42, in waiving the budget constraints.

But the Democrats must still clear the 60-vote hurdle to get past the Republican filibuster, and yesterday's vote did not help with that. The Democrats mustered only 52 votes on an initial cloture vote earlier this week.

Byrd has scheduled two more cloture votes for next week. If the stalemate continues, it is expected that he may pull back the campaign-finance measure to begin consideration of trade legislation late next week.