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Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) came to his home state seeking solace after a depressing three months in the unfriendly far reaches of the country.
And Rep. John B. Anderson (R-Ill.) came in search of a liberal constituency that might be enticed into voting Republican.
Both men found what they wanted Tuesday night, in a Bay State election that befuddled most analysts and added new layers of mystery to both races.
Kennedy knew he would win his home state; the question was by how much. He got the solid victory he hoped for and more--a smashing 37 per cent spread over the President, who meanwhile won the Vermont popularity contest.
The victory, coupled with Carter's recent United Nations gaffe, gives the flagging Kennedy campaign effort a little new hope and some momentum that will be put on the line Tuesday in Florida and later in Illinois.
Anderson piled up his votes--he eventually finished only 1000 ballots behind former U.N. ambassador George Bush--among the state's independents, who voted Republican in record numbers.
Former California governor Ronald Reagan trailed both men, keeping close across the state but showing no particular strength among Bay State Republicans, who are noted as moderates.
The results ruined one campaign--Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.) dropped out the next day, after seeing that only 5 per cent of the state's Republicans supported him, and gauging the effect of that statistic on the hopes of replenishing his bare campaign treasury.
And halfway across the nation, another Republican of some note, former President Gerald Ford, watched the results with some interest.
With Bush unable to emerge as the clear moderate challenge to Reagan, pressure is mounting on Ford to enter the race--pressure he doesn't seem to mind.
And so, with a shot in the arm to two campaigns and a dose of embalming fluid to one more, the candidates, the press, the pollsters and the freelance pundits have left the state, heading South and West where there is no indication the results will be much easier to predict.
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