The District of Columbia proved again last night that it is out of step with America.

In Indiana, Tennessee and North Carolina, loyal citizens said with overwhelming conviction they preferred Jimmy Carter over Edward M. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan to George Bush.

Here at home, the voters marched to different drummers, Kennedy and Bush.

No one ever launched a political comeback in the District of Columbia, however. Bush and Kennedy may try to move their armies north to Maryland next week, but out there in the rest of the country, Reagan and Carter have them surrounded.

It gets a little tiring to talk about the numbers all the time, rather than about psychological victories, changing voter sentiment and apparent signs of weakness. But the numbers keep telling the story of this campaign, and they are more compelling now than ever.

Carter is now about 300 delegates short of the Democratic nomination, needing a total of 1,666. Reagan is about 200 short, needing 998 to win the GOP crown. Kennedy has barely half the number Carter has, while Bush has about a fifth as many as Reagan.

Bush and Kennedy keep looking ahead to future primaries -- Bush to Michigan, Oregon and beyond; Kennedy to Ohio, California and New Jersey next month. Meanwhile, the two front-runners roll on, draining strength from their opponents and suspense from a once-lively campaign.