Do the political pundits know about this? While the Republican presidential contenders were debating their hearts out in Houston Wednesday night, one group of political prognosticators came to a quick and startling decision on who came out on top: Rep. Jack Kemp. Picking the candidates is a good bar game, so the Impulse Club, a new watering hole at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, projected Wednesday's debate on a wide television screen and then took a ballot.

With 292 barroom critics voting, Kemp captured 41 percent of the tally as the most preferred candidate, followed by Vice President George Bush, who came up with only 33 percent. The rest of the pack was far back with former secretary of state Alexander Haig at 9.6 percent, former Delaware governor Pete du Pont with 8 percent, Sen. Robert Dole with 6 percent and television evangelist Pat Robertson at the very bottom with 2.4 percent. It is doubtful that the candidates will alter their campaign strategies over this. But then, barroom polling is probably as scientific as most other polls.

Out and About The multitalented Bob Fosse, an entertainer to the end and beyond, included money in his will to pay for a final party for his friends in his memory. Tonight's the night at the Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York, and Fosse's ex-wife and best friend, dancer Gwen Verdon, and about 150 friends are expected to be there. Fosse, who had a heart problem he ignored, died here Sept. 23 after collapsing on the sidewalk in front of the Willard Hotel while walking to the opening-night performance of his show "Sweet Charity" at the National Theatre. Some of the music from that Broadway hit will be played tonight by Jerry Kravat and his orchestra in a musical tribute to Fosse, winner of the entertainment world's triple crown -- Oscar, Tony and Emmy -- during a long, legendary career. Also included in the tribute will be selections from such other Fosse hits as "Damn Yankees," "Cabaret" and "All That Jazz." Earlier in the day, there will be an invitation-only memorial service at the Palace Theater ...

Washington playwright Larry L. King is about to be on the Walk of Stars -- not in Hollywood, but back home in Texas. The author of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," among other things, will be honored in ceremonies in Austin Nov. 6 with his own star in the walk that honors outstanding Texans in the arts and sports worlds. His will be there alongside those of singer Willie Nelson and fellow authors J. Frank Dobie and Dan Jenkins ...

There's money in the Hollywood hills, and Virginia Gov. Gerald Baliles is going out there early next month to promote his state as a great location for movie making. Baliles was involved in legislation that created the Virginia Film Office in 1980, and when he became governor in 1986 he doubled the office's budget and beefed up the staff. Superrich fellow Virginians John and Pat Kluge are hosting a reception for him at their West Coast home and have invited such Hollywood biggies as Shirley MacLaine and her brother Warren Beatty, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Tony Thomopoulos, chairman of United Artists, Mike Medavoy, president of Orion Pictures, and Terry Semel, president of Warner Bros. More and more films are being made in Virginia, the latest being the NBC mini-series "Lincoln," starring Sam Waterston and Mary Tyler Moore ...