James L. Roark, et al., eds., The American Promise: A History of the United States, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002), 478.
As Douglas predicted, the election was hardfought. It was also closely contested. In the nineteenth century, citizens voted for state legislators, who in turn selected the U.S. senator. Since Democrats won a slight majority in the legislature, the new legislature chose to return Douglas to the Senate. But the debates thrust Lincoln, the prairie Republican, into the national spotlight.