At the dawn of this election year, Vice President Bush leads all contenders, Republicans and Democrats, in many presidential polls. But his support is lukewarm and could turn cold overnight.

His biggest scare, associates say, was the Iran-contra horror. But up until now, he has succeeded in disassociating himself from the scandal. He simply denied any involvement. He was aware of the Iran initiative and had expressed "reservations," Bush said. But he had not been privy to the details. He spoke as if he had been The Little Man Who Wasn't There.

Yet last June we reported the existence of internal memos that implicated Bush in the scandal. The memos had been suppressed, we reported, by friends trying to protect Bush. Now some of the memos have turned up.

There's not a word in the record indicating that Bush uttered any warning or misgiving about the Iran initiative. The memos, in fact, imply exactly the opposite. Here's what they reveal:Feb. 1, 1986 -- Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter, then President Reagan's national security adviser, wrote that Bush not only knew about the Iran initiative but strongly supported it. A Poindexter memo suggested that both Reagan and Bush favored the arrangement with Iran, which turned into an arms-for-hostages deal. Poindexter declared: "President and VP are solid in taking the position that we have to try." April 30, 1986 -- A briefing memo reported that ex-CIA official Felix Rodriguez was scheduled to brief Bush "on the status of the war in El Salvador and resupply for the contras." The memo indicated "private" money, including profits from Iranian arms sales, would be used to resupply the contras. Bush acknowledges meeting with Rodriguez but denies discussing contra supply efforts with him. July 29, 1986 -- Bush met in Jerusalem with Israeli specialist on terrorism Amiram Nir. Bush was accompanied by his chief of staff, Craig L. Fuller, who summarized the meeting in a memo.

"{Nir} described the details of the efforts from last year through the current period to gain the release of U.S. hostages," Fuller wrote. The memo indicated an arms deal was discussed. Aug. 8, 1986 -- Bush's national security adviser, Donald P. Gregg, met with Rodriguez. Gregg's memorandum on the meeting indicates that Bush's office was aware of the Iran-contra details. "A swap of weapons for $ was arranged to get aid for the contras," he wrote.

Despite this paper trail, Bush continues to deny he was aware that Iranian arms money would be diverted to the contras. Infant Victims: Better screening of blood donors is reducing the number of infants who get AIDS via blood transfusions, but there is slim hope for the rising number of babies who pick up the disease directly from their mothers, according to a confidential CIA report warning agency employes about risks of the disease.

"Not all children born to AIDS-infected mothers develop the disease, but those that do die quickly," says the CIA.