‘Debate’ describes the debates between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas leading up to the legislative elections in 1858. Although Douglas was re-elected, Lincoln had come within an ace of upsetting the most famous and powerful Democrat in Congress. The great debates had been far from merely another political disappointment for Lincoln. By early 1859 he was beginning to get invitations to appear before Republican meetings as well as proposals from publishers to issue the debates as a book. Already, Northerners were beginning to speak of Lincoln as an ideal Republican candidate candidate — not for the Senate, but for president of the United States.