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WHAT’S AT STAKE IN TODAY’S VOTE

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PRESIDENT: President Bush is seeking not only a second term but to extend to four terms the Reagan-Bush years. His two challengers: Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, the Democrat, and Texas businessman Ross Perot, running as an independent. Bush made experience and character his central themes. Clinton has pressed change for an economy and country he said Bush had mismanaged, and for a Democratic Party he promised to lead on a moderate path. Perot said neither Bush nor Clinton had the boardroom experience to run the country like a business. Perot's folksy campaign style and ads were the surprise of the season, but he never climbed from third in the polls after rejoining the campaign for the final month.

SENATE: Thirty-five seats are at stake in the Senate, where the Democrats hold a 57-43 advantage. Because of a larger-than-usual bloc of undecided voters, reflected by polls in various states, an unusually large number of races are rated as tossups. Incumbents have sought to deflect the challenges of candidates running as outsiders against the Washington establishment by citing the importance of seniority in the Senate. But at least five Republicans are facing difficult odds because of the incumbency issue and because they are from states where Bush has shown badly in his race against Clinton. They are Sens. John Seymour of California, Alfonse D'Amato of New York, Bob Kasten of Wisconsin, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Bob Packwood of Oregon. Democrats seemed likely to pad their majority, with a gain of two to three seats at the GOP's expense. Eleven women, 10 of them Democrats, were running for the Senate, a record high.

HOUSE: Republicans are expected to make marginal gains, perhaps a dozen seats or so from the current 268-166 Democratic advantage. But their high hopes of a few months ago have been dampened by Bush's slide in the polls, the anemic economy and the less-than-expected impact of the decennial redrawing of House districts. Democrats are virtually certain to continue their 38-year lock on the chamber. A season of scandal including the House bank and post office fiascos dominated many campaigns. Combined with redistricting and a strong anti-Washington mood among voters, it adds up to terror for many incumbents. Political observers predicted as many as 40 or 50 sitting lawmakers could be turned out of office. Added to a rec-ord number of retirements and defeats in primary elections, that could mean as many as 140 new faces in the next Congress - the most since 1932, when 165 seats changed hands.

GOVERNORS: Twelve states will elect governors, including four with Democratic incumbents: Evan Bayh in Indiana, Bruce Sundlun in Rhode Island, Howard Dean in Vermont and Gaston Caperton in West Virginia. None of the six Republican incumbents is on the ballot, the first time since 1900 no GOP incumbent is running. The Republicans hope to break even by winning six states. Democrats think they can win eight or more. Currently, there are 28 Democratic governors, 20 Republicans and two independents.

PROPOSITIONS: Congressional term-limit proposals on the ballot in 14 states show a strong likelihood of success, ensuring regular turnover long after this year's mass exodus from Capitol Hill. The measures are among 232 statewide in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands - and there are thousands more local ballot questions. A virtual ban on abortion was proposed in Arizona, while Maryland voters decided whether to bar state interference in abortion decisions. Anti-gay rights measures included a constitutional amendment for Oregon declaring homosexuality abnormal. An unprecedented law to allow physician-aided suicide for the terminally ill was on California's ballot. Gambling questions on ballots in 12 states included proposed state lotteries for Georgia and Nebraska, riverboat casinos in Missouri and betting at Utah horse racetracks.