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SUPER VOTER // To date, Bob Dole rules

In the race for who gets to run against President Clinton, Bob Dole ruled last week.

Dole won elections in so many states that he almost certainly will be the Republican Party's candidate against President Clinton this fall.

It began in South Carolina

The winning streak started for Dole in South Carolina on March 2. It was his first major win over his strongest rival, Pat Buchanan.

Buchanan had tried to appeal to Southern pride. He defended the Confederate flag, the song Dixie, and the all-male military school, The Citadel.

But it didn't work. Even voters who said they were moral conservatives, like Buchanan, voted mostly for Dole.

Dole had the momentum after that. The next day, on March 3, he won the election in Puerto Rico.

But his best day of the week was Tuesday, when eight states voted at once _ and he won all eight.

Dole won elections in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.

He proved to be so strong that the next day, two more candidates pulled out of the race, Lamar Alexander and Richard Lugar.

That left Dole with just two major rivals in the race, Buchanan and Steve Forbes. Both of them said they would keep fighting.

On Thursday, New York held its election and Dole won there, too, in a landslide. New York was the biggest state to vote for far.

The point of holding these state-by-state elections is to choose delegates, or voters, for a meeting of Republicans from all over the nation that will be held in August in San Diego.

At the Republican National Convention, those delegates will vote for which candidate the party should run against President Clinton, who is a Democrat.

By winning state primary elections, Dole has won far more delegates than anyone else. So far, he appears the most likely to win the nomination at the convention.

This week

Republicans who live in Florida will finally get their turn to vote this Tuesday. The day is called "Super Tuesday" because it is the biggest day of voting in the race so far.

Democrats in Florida won't have to hold their own election Tuesday. They already know that President Bill Clinton will be their party's candidate in November.

Besides Florida, the other states that will be voting Tuesday are Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas.

Public opinion pools predict Dole will probably win the election in Florida, just as he has won most of the other states so far.

But the two other main candidates, Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes, are not giving up. They still hope they can catch up with Dole.

Besides Dole, Buchanan and Forbes, there are still two other candidates in the race, but they are far behind. They are Alan Keyes and Bob Dornan. Businessman Morry Taylor also has dropped out of the race.

Quote of the Week

"I feel good about New York. Except it snowed up there. If it snows here, we're in trouble."

_ Bob Dole, campaigning in Florida last week

The Big Job

To be president, a person must be at least 35 years old, a native-born citizen and a resident of the United States for 14 years.

The four-year terms of the president and vice president expire at noon on Jan. 20. Because in 1957 and 1985 inauguration days fell on a Sunday, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan took the oath privately on the 20th and again the next day in public.

Source: Speaking of Washington . . ., by John L. Moore

All in the First Family

3RD PRESIDENT, 1801-1809

Thomas Jefferson always seated guests at a circular table, a principle borrowed from King Arthur.

8TH PRESIDENT, 1837-1841

Until well into the 19th century, the White House was never locked. In Martin Van Buren's term, a drunk wandered in and spent the night on a sofa.

13TH PRESIDENT, 1850-1853

Until Millard Fillmore became president, the White House kitchen had no stove. Meals were cooked just as in colonial times, in a big open fireplace with kettles and pots on a maze of hooks and cranes.

Source: Oh Say Can You See _ Unexpected Anecdotes About American History, by John Whitcomb & Claire Whitcomb