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US voters tended to base choices on less-than-global issues. NORTHEAST.

New York's Gov. Mario M. Cuomo was easily reelected with a record-breaking victory that some say puts him in a good position to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988. Though Governor Cuomo's coattails did not extend to other Democrats in the state, his appeal in the state was widespread, both in the heavily urban, ethnic New York City region and in the suburban and rural parts of the state. Though Cuomo trails behind former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart in recent popularity polls, the large victory will bring him increased national attention.

There were few surprises in New York, where incumbents, including GOP Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, had an easy time of it. Rep. Jack Kemp (R), who is mentioned as a presidential possibility in '88, beat off a feisty challenge, trimming his usual margin of victory but still winning with 57 percent of the vote.

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In an important victory for Democrats, in Maryland, Rep. Barbara Mikulski will move to the Senate after defeating former Reagan aide Linda Chavez. A gutsy, liberal Baltimore Democrat, Congresswoman Mikulski won the seat being vacated by Charles McC. Mathias Jr. (R). Some observers say negative campaigning by Ms. Chavez may have backfired.

The Kennedy family will have another member on the Hill as Joseph P. Kennedy II takes over the congressional seat of retiring House Speaker Thomas (Tip) O'Neill. But his sister, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, lost a bid for a House seat in Maryland to incumbent Helen Delich Bentley (R).

Pennsylvania's Sen. Arlen Specter survived a challenge by Rep. Bob Edgar to win a second term. But Democrats took over the state house in Pennsylvania as Robert P. Casey defeated Lt. Gov. William W. Scranton in the bid to succeed Gov. Dick Thornburgh (R).

In other gubernatorial races in the region, Democrats won in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Vermont. Republicans found victory in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine, where the GOP captured a formerly Democratic governorship.

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