November 6th was a Monday in 1978 – and aside from chasing the fog of hangover on a Monday morning, it was also the eve of Midterm elections, this November 6, 1978 and it was the final day of campaigning.
Typically expected to be a low voter turnout, the Democrats were nonetheless expected to hold their own in the Senate and not lose much of their 2/3 majority in the House and emerge from the Governor’s races with a diminished, but still healthy majority of the State Houses. The GOP was expected to pour a massive last-minute infusion of cash into races in Michigan, Massachusetts and Texas where the Republican incumbents were threatened and to Alabama where Republicans had hopes of electing their first Senator since Reconstruction. The biggest fear Democrats had was the projected lowest voter turnout since the midterm election of 1942 which could yield the Republicans some major surprises.
Meanwhile, in Austria – Chancellor Bruno Kreisky was handed a major defeat for his Socialist Party in the first Plebiscite since World War 2. By a small but decisive margin, the voters rejected a $650 million nuclear power plant. The plant was completed several months earlier outside of Vienna. The vote meant the plant was not going to open. Kriesky campaigned vigorously in support of the Plant and hinted before the Plebiscite that he would resign if it were defeated and would assume full responsibility for that defeat.
In the Southeast U.S. drought conditions had been the worst in some places in over 70 years, with some 100,000 acres of forest going up in smoke in Alabama alone since the first of October. Smoke was becoming a health issue as far away as Birmingham, with warnings issued to residents having respiratory problems to say indoors.
That’s a small slice of the news for this day, including a big chunk of local news for the New York City area, via WCBS-AM for November 6, 1978.