Democrats gain in Senate, Republicans gain in House; SOUTH

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The Democratic party in the South is by no means dead. Despite Ronald Reagan's total sweep of the South - the third Republican Party presidential win in the region in the last four elections - his coattails proved to be rather short.

''We lost the white vote,'' said Walter Mondale's press secretary for Alabama , Brooks Fundenberg, in a summation that could be applied to much of the region in the presidential race.

But Democrats gained one US Senate seat in the region and had a net loss of only two House seats, with returns nearly complete. Republicans won two of three gubernatorial contests in the region.

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In the bitter, costly battle between North Carolina Gov. James Hunt (D) and ultraconservative incumbent US Sen. Jesse Helms (R), Senator Helms won, 52 to 48 percent.

Mississippi incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R) easily defeated former Gov. William Winter. Freshman Rep. Webb Franklin (R) defeated black Democrat Robert Clark for the second time, 51 to 49 percent.

Republican Sens. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and John Warner of Virginia won reelection.

Incumbent Democratic US senators held their seats in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Louisiana.

US Rep. Albert Gore Jr. (D) of Tennessee won the Senate seat being vacated by GOP majority leader Howard Baker. Gov. John D. Rockefeller IV (D) won the race in West Virginia for the seat of Jennings Randolph. Arch Moore (R) was elected governor.

In North Carolina, Republican James Martin was elected governor. Democratic incumbent Gov. William Clinton was reelected in Arkansas.

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