Whose endorsement do you want: space aliens' or Elvis's?

With only $250,000 to spend on television ads, Russell Feingold, a Democratic Senate candidate in Wisconsin, made his choice. "Elvis Endorses Feingold!" enthused the mock-up tabloid headline that his television mavens concocted. "Sure Proof that the King is Still Alive."

The rest is history. Tuesday Feingold trounced two rivals to win a shot at unseating Republican Sen. Robert W. Kasten Jr. in November. Feingold credited a positive campaign focused on issues and leavened by a candidate always willing to poke fun at himself.

Feingold's unorthodox campaign and his victory over two much better-financed and better-known rivals, including a five-term House member, is another dramatic reflection of the anti-incumbent, tired-of-politics-as-usual sentiment of the voters this year.

That sentiment also was reflected in other primaries Tuesday held in seven states to pick candidates for three governorships, six seats in the Senate and 25 spots in the House. Insiders and incumbents often found hard going with a disgruntled electorate intent on taking a meat ax to the status quo. But outsiders, long shots and first-time candidates enjoyed pleasant surprises and, in some cases, a feeling that old injustices had been redressed.

Being different helped. In Wisconsin, which regards populism and the unorthodox with a kindly eye, Feingold, 39, struck gold with Elvis. Another winner was House candidate Ada Deer, 57, a Menominee Indian and social welfare activist who won 60 percent of the Democratic primary vote over highly regarded state Rep. David Clarenbach.

"David can talk about change, but with me they get real change," Deer said. "With me they can see it." If Deer defeats Republican Rep. Scott L. Klug in November, she will become the first nonwhite House member ever elected from Wisconsin and the first Native American woman ever elected to Congress from anywhere.

In New Hampshire, where no woman has ever been elected to Congress or statewide office, Democrats picked state Rep. Deborah Arnie Arnesen over two rivals to run against former state attorney general Steve Merrill in this fall's gubernatorial race.

In Arizona, community activist Claire Sargent, a first-time campaigner, won the Democratic nomination for Senate. She will meet Sen. John McCain this fall.

In South Florida, Democrats picked their way through the rubble of Hurricane Andrew to nominate Carrie Meek, the daughter of a Tallahassee sharecropper, for their party's congressional nomination. With no Republican opposition, Meek, 66, a state senator for the past 10 years, will become the first black Floridian elected to the House since Reconstruction.

And in other House races three Republican House incumbents flirted with disaster but survived. Reps. John J. Rhodes III (Ariz.), Don Young (Alaska) and Bill Zeliff (N.H.) all won squeakers for the right to run for new terms in November.

Sens. Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska); Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Kasten (R-Wis.) and McCain (R-Ariz.) were renominated easily. Outgoing New Hampshire Gov. Judd Gregg won 76 percent of the vote to earn a place in the race for the seat of retiring Sen. Warren B. Rudman. Gregg will face Democrat John Rauh, a millionaire businessman.

In Utah, Rep. Wayne Owens sweated out the taint of 87 bad checks at the House Bank to win the Democratic primary and the opportunity to meet Republican Robert Bennett a former Washington lobbyist and businessman, for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jake Garn (R).

Also in Utah, Republican insurance executive Mike Leavitt and former judge Stewart Hanson Jr., a Democrat, easily won their gubernatorial primaries. In Vermont's governor's race, Democratic Gov. Howard Dean and Republican challenger John McLaughry ran unopposed.

Despite a proliferation of newcomers, both insiders and outsiders seemed to agree that in this year of anti-politics, voters Tuesday ultimately favored substance over style.

New Hampshire's Zeliff, a first-term Republican, credited his "outstanding constituent service" with winning him 49 percent of the vote over two rivals: "There's a bit of the anti-incumbent mood out there, but we had a good report card," he said. "If I didn't have the record, I could very easily have lost."

By picking Arnesen and Merrill in the governor's race, the Granite State ensured a no-nonsense campaign between opposites: Arnesen, an abortion rights advocate, favors an income tax in a state that has never had one; Merrill is antiabortion and anti-tax, believing the budget can be balanced by sound fiscal management in the statehouse.

In Wisconsin, Feingold, a liberal-populist who won 70 percent of the vote by eschewing negative campaigning, said he had urged the conservative Kasten "Don't Be Cruel" during the upcoming general election campaign, adding that he expected philosophical differences to keep the mudslinging at bay: "We disagree on almost everything," Feingold said.

In a polite chat replete with mutual congratulations, Kasten promised to send Feingold an Elvis clock to go with his Elvis posters. "We haven't received it yet," Feingold said. "But when we do, it will go up on the wall in our campaign headquarters. We aren't giving up our underdog status without a fight."