Top Republican strategists may be playing the world's smallest violin as they express concern over events in Illinois, where Democratic gubernatorial nominee Adlai E. Stevenson III is seeking to extricate himself from a ticket that includes two followers of Lyndon LaRouche.
Mitchell E. Daniels, President Reagan's assistant for political affairs, says that while the LaRouche victories may help Gov. James R. Thompson (R) win reelection, it is a "disturbing development."
Any time "kooks" are elected on a major party ticket, he added, it is "disturbing." Republicans should denounce LaRouche and his candidates, Daniels told reporters as he traveled to California with the president.
In fact, what worries Republicans is that LaRouche has been described as an "ultraconservative," and that sounds too close for comfort to many Reagan-era conservatives. "We've got to put some distance between ourselves and LaRouche," said one GOP strategist. "Whatever he stands for, it isn't less government." Author, Author
The New York gubernatorial race is shaping up as a battle of authors. The only prospective Republican candidate is Westchester County Executive Andrew O'Rourke, who plans to announce his candidacy in mid-April. O'Rourke makes his debut as a novelist at the same time. His book, "Red Banner Mutiny," is described by his publisher as "a thriller with a Russian background." As a show of faith in O'Rourke's "potential as a writer of fiction," 165,000 paperbacks will be issued. O'Rourke's Democratic opponent will be another author, a writer of nonfiction, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo. His book, "The Diaries of Mario M. Cuomo," made the best-seller list.
Meantime, the New York State Republican Committee has issued a "report card" on Cuomo the governor -- not the author. It says Cuomo has earned poor grades in all subjects, save one. In "Oral Expression," even the Republicans give him an "A." Crowded Field in Nebraska
Nebraska Gov. Robert Kerrey (D) announced last October that he lacked the "necessary call" to serve another term. But eight Republicans and seven Democrats have responded to the call and announced their candidacies for governor. The ballot for the May 13 primary includes elected officials, fundamentalist ministers, lawyers and a farmer who has been sentenced to jail for contempt of court. With four women on the ballot, there is a good chance Nebraska will elect its first female governor. According to a recent poll for The Lincoln Star, the leading candidates are Nancy Hoch, a University of Nebraska regent and 1984 Republican Senate candidate, and former Lincoln mayor Helen Boosalis (D). Polls
Sen. Mark Andrews (R-N.D.) has reason to be jittery, according to Democratic pollster Peter Hart. When 421 likely voters were asked to rate the "overall economic situation in North Dakota today," 70 percent responded "not so good or poor"; when they were asked to rate the "situation facing farmers," 88 percent said "not so good or poor"; and when they were asked if "Reagan policies were helpful or harmful to farmers," 53 percent said "harmful."
The poll shows that Andrews' personal popularity has dropped 10 points in the past year.
In a match with Democratic challenger Kent Conrad, Andrews has lost ground. His lead has been halved since last June, when he led Conrad by 31 points, 57 percent to 26 percent, to a 16-point lead, 51 percent to 35 percent.