In the latest skirmish in the Michigan GOP's war to the death over presidential delegates, leaders of the campaigns of Marion G. (Pat) Robertson and Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) now are demanding a major rewriting of the delegate-selection rules to preserve their control over the state GOP and their advantage over Bush in garnering national delegate support.

This is happening despite an agreement last April that that sort of thing would stop. The move caused, as usual, all involved campaigns to charge each other with a string of transgressions that add up to hardball politics. Bush campaign director John Long claimed the Kemp-Robertson effort ". . . is a massive rules rewrite while the game is under way."

The change would have to be approved by the 101 member state GOP committee by mid-December to affect county conventions Jan. 14 and ultimately the state convention Jan. 29-30, where the 77 national convention delegates will be selected. Since the Kemp-Robertson forces control the committee, approval is likely. Bush forces maintain such a change will all but guarantee they cannot finish better than third.

Tom Ritter, a Kemp campaign leader who helped devise the plan, said prior agreements are irrelevant: "You've got to fight fire with fire. We are going to change the rules to preempt them. All agreements are off."

Long said this maneuver confirms that the Bush campaign is stronger than suspected. "If you have 40 to 46 national delegates {that Robertson claimed last week}, you don't need to change the rules. This proves our counts are right."