U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., was crushed in his re-election bid against Democratic challenger Harvey Gantt in a Thursday mock election among millions of students and parents nationwide.

Gantt got 72 percent of the votes cast by North Carolinians, Helms 28 percent.Democrats barely maintained control of the U.S. House, winning 52.9 percent of the seats while Republicans won 47.1 percent, officials of the National Student-Parent Mock Election reported.

In the real world, Democrats control more than 59 percent of the House seats, holding an edge of 258 to 176 over Republicans. Democrats are expected to win additional seats Tuesday.

In the California governor's race, Republican Pete Wilson defeated Diane Feinstein 59 percent to 37 percent.

In the Arizona governor's race, Democrat Terry Goddard defeated Republican Fife Symington 55 percent to 45 percent.

In the Texas governor's race, Republican Clayton Williams defeated Democrat Ann Richards 56 percent to 44 percent.

And in Florida, Republican Gov. Bob Martinez lost a re-election bid to former Sen. Lawton Chiles, 52 percent to 48 percent.

Junior and senior high school students in all 50 states and the Department of Defense dependents' schools called in tabulated results to the national election headquarters in the nation's capital.

Questions developed by Congressional Quarterly and the Roper Poll asked students to determine strategies for dealing with the nation's drug crisis.

The results:

12 percent favored imposing harsher penalties for convicted drug dealers and users.

9 percent wanted to require courses in public schools about the effects of drugs use.

51 percent wanted to increase efforts to prevent drugs from being brought into the United States from other countries.

11 percent wanted to legalize some drugs to make drug-dealing less profitable to organized crime.

17 percent were undecided about what steps to take.

On the federal budget, 62 percent wanted to maintain current levels of defense even if it means the government has to borrow money. Thirty percent said the United States should borrow less money and reduce the deficit even if it means cuts in the defense budget.

On the federal deficit, 59 percent said the United States should increase spending for social needs. Nineteen percent said the U.S. should borrow less money and reduce the budget deficit even if it means no improvements in social programs

Twenty-six percent favored an increase in the federal gasoline tax. Forty-seven percent were against it.

The mock election is ``the largest voter-education program ever,' said Gloria Kirshner, president of the event.

The purpose of the program is to fight civic illiteracy by involving students and their families in the electoral process, she said.

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