Dole set to freeze out Forbes in New York

US Presidential Elections

DAVID USBORNE

New York

Under sleet and snow, New York Republicans voted yesterday in a primary that seemed set to hand another win to Senator Bob Dole and put him all but beyond the reach of his remaining rivals for his party's presidential nomination.

The only suspense was provided by Steve Forbes, who appeared at the last moment at least to be narrowing Mr Dole's lead. A victory by Mr Forbes would be a stunning upset.

New York is the biggest prize in the primary process so far, with 93 delegates on offer for the party's nominating convention in August. If Mr Dole snares them, his lead in numbers of delegates over Mr Forbes and his only other serious rival, Pat Buchanan, would make him well-nigh invincible.

"I think we will be the state that puts Senator Dole over the top," the Governor of New York, George Pataki, said. Only California and Texas will send more delegates to the convention in San Diego.

Of the three candidates, only Mr Forbes was still in the Empire State yesterday, apparently glimpsing the miracle of an eleventh-hour breakthrough. A final daily tracking poll for the New York Post showed Mr Dole's lead cut from 48.4 per cent to 46 per cent, while Mr Forbes had jumped from 18.7 per cent to 24.2 per cent.

Mr Buchanan appeared to be losing ground in the state and registered only 13.6 per cent in the New York Post poll.

The race has been overshadowed by controversy created by the state party's attempts to preserve rules that made it almost impossible for any candidate other than Mr Dole to make on to the ballot sheets.

With help from the courts, Mr Forbes was able to qualify in all 31 of the state's congressional districts, while Mr Buchanan was standing in only 23. State-wide, therefore, the primary amounted to a first head-to- head Dole-Forbes contest.

So confident was Mr Dole that he had left yesterday to campaign in Florida, which votes on Tuesday. In Miami, the senator joked: "I feel good about New York, except it snowed up there. If it snows here, we're in trouble."

Mr Forbes received a boost on Wednesday, when he was endorsed by Jack Kemp, a former pro-football star and Bush cabinet member. But Mr Kemp, whose main interest in Mr Forbes is his advocacy of a flat tax, may have jumped in too late. "It's like grabbing the helm of the Titanic after it's hit the ice," scoffed William Powers, the state party chairman.

Mr Forbes also poured money into the state in the closing hours of the campaign, with intensive advertising, including a 30-minute block of primetime on a New York City television station. Chastising Mr Dole for refusing to take part in recent television debates, Mr Forbes offered to pay for his plane fare to return to New York to debate with him on the half-hour show.

The magazine magnate was meanwhile due to stage a "victory party" in a Manhattan hotel yesterday evening.

The event, aides said, would mark his success in getting on the ballot across the state, even if the day's voting did not give him victory.

Mr Buchanan continued to defy party calls on him to retire from the race and help restore party unity. He promised supporters that he would "fight until Hell freezes over - and then fight on the ice".

Leading article, page 16

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Amazon's drones were unveiled last year.
business
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Life and Style
Worth shelling out for: Atlantic lobsters are especially meaty
food + drink
News
i100
Sport
Gareth Bale
footballPaul Scholes on how Real Madrid's Welsh winger would be a perfect fit at Old Trafford if he leaves Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Lily James in ‘Cinderella’
film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss