Few Republicans have felt conflicting tugs of loyalty more severely than Richard L. (Dick) Herman, the former Nebraskan who was a fixture on the Republican National Committee for almost 20 years before he moved to California.

Herman's ties to George Bush go back to 1964, Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign, when Herman was a deputy to Dean Burch, then as now a close friend and adviser to Bush. They were deepened when Bush was Republican national chairman in the 1970s and, in 1980, Herman worked for Bush's nomination as president.

But his links to Sen. Robert J. Dole (Kan.), also a former party chairman, go back almost that far, and last week, Dole announced that Herman -- an effective fund-raiser and organizer -- was joining his campaign as "counselor."

"I have the same respect for the vice president and his family I've always maintained," Herman said in an interview, "but I believe Bob Dole has the better chance to win the presidency for the Republicans in 1988. This is going to be a very tough election, just like 1960 was after Eisenhower's two terms, and I think Dole can capture the pluses in the Reagan record and minimize the negatives better than Bush can do."