Meanwhile, Sen. Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) is stepping up his presidential campaign in Iowa, taking aim at Vice President Bush. "When Ronald Reagan wants his program passed, he doesn't call George, he calls Bob," Dole said.

Dole said he will campaign virtually nonstop through Iowa's Feb. 8 precinct caucuses. And at a rally in Davenport, he named Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) as a national cochairman of his campaign.

Most polls have shown Bush and Dole in a dead heat in Iowa, well ahead of the other Republican candidates. "It's a two-person race," Dole said. "It's time to close the sale; we're getting down to the nitty gritty. You may pick a president right here."

He added, "If you took a political map of the United States, 40 percent of that would be Iowa, 40 percent would be New Hampshire and 20 percent would be the rest of the country. Winning in this state means 10 percent to 12 percent in the rest of the country."

Despite the importance he has placed on Iowa, Dole is trying to reduce expectations about his performance. Those who say he must win in Iowa to keep his campaign alive "probably don't understand the process," he said. "This state is important, but it's a neck-and-neck race. Bush is probably still the front-runner. He's been running out here for nine years. We started running in March of this year."