Inside the Beltway
MCaslin, John, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Numbers, if nothing else, say not to count Bob Dole out of winning the race for the Oval Office.
The latest Wirthlin Worldwide survey of 1,002 adult Americans, of whom 825 are registered voters, reveals that voters are true to form in taking time to make up their minds about whom to support in the November election.
Findings of the poll, made available to this column, show President Clinton's supporters include 21 percent of registered voters who say they will "definitely" vote for the incumbent. Mr. Dole has a committed 18 percent.
"Probable" Clinton supporters stand at 8 percent, compared with Mr. Dole's 4 percent. The candidates virtually have the same number of "leaners" - 18 percent for Mr. Clinton and 17 percent for Mr. Dole.
But at the same time, another 13 percent hang in the balance as undecided voters, according to the poll.
"Thus," concludes the McLean-based group, "there are enough undecided voters to swing the election either way."
Move over, Eleanor, and make way for the spirit of Elizabeth "Bess" Truman.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, addressing the National Federation of Republican Women's "Get Out to Vote" rally the other day, observed: "Right now, President Clinton is proud of being ahead of Bob Dole in the polls. Well, when I talked to Bess Truman last night, she said: `Remember Dewey's polls!' "
Mrs. Hutchison didn't say whether Mrs. Truman looked "frumpy," as Hillary Rodham Clinton described the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt during their recent hallway encounter.
We had to laugh at the question posed by an unidentified man, apparently a reporter, at last week's Treasury Department news conference on the fire that heavily damaged the fifth floor and roof of the Treasury building adjacent to the White House.
He wondered if the secret White House database, nicknamed "Big Brother," was damaged by the blaze.
PAT ON BOB AND BILL
Pat Robertson, propelled by social conservatives to a second-place position in the 1988 Iowa caucus - ahead of a humiliated George Bush, but behind Bob Dole - tells this newspaper that "unless there's some Whitewater revelation of major proportion, his [Mr. Dole's] chances are certainly very slim, as things stand right now," of winning the November election.
"As American voters have the chance to analyze the position of the two parties and the two candidates, Dole will narrow the gap," Mr. …