In his 1996 reelection, Smith barely squeaked by Democratic challenger Richard Swett.
In any case, the 2010 Senate race is destined to be a vicious battle regardless of the challenger.
After the primary, the Republican challenger held a 1-point lead; on Election Day, he lost in a landslide.
late 13c., "a claimant;" mid-14c., "one who makes false charges;" mid-15c., "one who disputes something, objector," from Anglo-French chalengeour (Old French chalongeor "slanderer, petitioner, plaintiff"), agent noun from challenge (v.). Specific sense of "one who calls out another in a contest" is from 1510s.