The campaign manager of Gary Hart's defunct drive for the Democratic presidential nomination is speculating Hart will reenter the race within a few weeks, building a low-budget campaign on televised debates with other contenders.

But other veterans of Hart's 1988 campaign did their best yesterday to shoot down the surprising suggestion from William Dixon, who managed Hart's campaign until a few days before the one-time front-runner withdrew in May.

"I think it is likely Sen. Hart will reenter the presidential race within 30 to 60 days," Dixon said yesterday. Over the past week or so, Dixon has been spreading the same word privately in political circles.

Hart, vacationing in Ireland, could not be reached. But Hart allies who have talked to the ex-candidate recently expressed disbelief about Dixon's prediction.

"I would describe the possibility of Hart's getting back in as extraordinarily unlikely," said John Emerson, the Los Angeles lawyer who was deputy manager of the Hart campaign. "There have been a couple of money people who called Gary and told him to go for it again . . . . But I don't think there's a chance he would do it."

A friend and political ally of Hart's in Denver, who asked not to be identified because he found the suggestion "bizarre," said Hart and his aides had discussed the possibility of reentering the race as a way to get federal matching funds for his 1988 campaign.

The Federal Election Commission refused to match Hart's contributions because he did not apply for the funds until after his withdrawal. If he were once again a declared candidate, Hart presumably could qualify for the federal match, worth nearly $1 million.

"But Gary's reaction to that idea, from what I gather, is that it's not worth a million bucks to go through what he would have to if he ran again this year," the friend said.

Dixon told The Washington Post that Hart "is being urged by supporters and the family to reenter {the 1988 race}. His wife and children want him in."

"The campaign would be run on a budget close to 5 percent of what the other candidates will spend," Dixon went on. "It would be a no-frills campaign with three employes and not 300."

To be credible, Dixon said, Hart would first have to apologize for the conduct that forced him out of the race. Hart withdrew following reports of extramarital relationships.