Now comes still another prediction about the presidential campaign of 1988, this one from a quasi-convention of political reporters and political operatives. And, if they know what they're talking about, George Bush is on his way to the White House. About 100 of these prognosticators get together on an irregular basis at the home of electronic journalists Martin Plissner and Susan Morrison to poll themselves -- the city's resident wise men of presidential politics. Among those at the latest poll-party were Republican National Committee Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf, columnists Mark Shields and Robert Walters, L.A. Times bureau chief Jack Nelson and ABC White House correspondent Sam Donaldson.

The vote on who will be the Democratic nominee for president (not who you might like it to be) showed Gov. Michael Dukakis winning with 36 votes. Rep. Richard Gephardt got 25; Sen. Paul Simon, 20; and Sen. Albert Gore, 7. Gov. Mario Cuomo, Sen. Bill Bradley and former governor Bruce Babbitt brought up the rear. The ballot showed Gore as the choice for second spot on the ticket. On the Republican side, Bush tallied 62 votes, followed by Sen. Robert Dole with 26. Rep. Jack Kemp was picked as the vice presidential nominee. Oddly enough, when the group met and voted last February, a Democratic victory by a 2 to 1 margin with Gary Hart heading the ticket was projected for next November. Last weekend, however, by the same 2 to 1 margin, the group predicted Bush would become the next president. What does that mean? Probably only that the self-styled experts are no more expert than anyone else.

Out and About

Vice President Bush knows that the American Spectator crowd doesn't like him very much, so he's going to try to prove he's really one of them by attending their dinner tonight and staying for the whole evening. It won't be one of those in-and-out-in-dramatic-minutes visits. Bush was so anxious to attend the Shoreham Hotel gathering of his party's more conservative elements that he accepted the invitation six months ago. He is expected to deliver a ringing, tough speech the audience will love and, thus, make them love him. There was some thought that President Reagan might come, but since Bush is already booked, the president will stay home. This is the group that doesn't like Secretary of State George Shultz or Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger very much, so they weren't invited. Former ambassador to Mexico John Gavin will be the emcee and Jeane Kirkpatrick will give a toast ...

Hospital Report: Baby doctor Benjamin Spock is reported in excellent condition at the New England Medical Center in Boston after being fitted with a cardiac pacemaker. He had been hospitalized Saturday after fainting and falling hard on a marble floor. An electrocardiogram indicated an excessively slow heart rate may have caused him to faint ...

Former senator Barry Goldwater, a veteran pilot who has flown 15,000 hours in more than 180 different types of aircraft, received the Smithsonian Institution's Samuel P. Langley Medal last night at a dinner in the Hall of Presidents at the National Portrait Gallery. The award, presented by Smithsonian Secretary Robert McC. Adams, was in recognition of Goldwater's lifelong contribution to aviation and his leadership in the building of the National Air and Space Museum. There have been 19 winners of the prestigious gold medal over the years, the first going to Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1909. Among the other winners were Charles Lindbergh, Richard Byrd, Alan B. Shepard Jr. and Wernher von Braun ...