Republicans queue up to do battle

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The Independent Online
Robert Dole War-hero, long-term member of Congress, now Senate Majority leader, aged 72. Formerly known as a bad-tempered pragmatist, Senator Dole is making his third run for the White House, repackaged as a sweet-tempered right-winger.

39 per cent

"I haven't thought what I'll do... if I get elected at my age, you know. I'm not going anywhere. It's not an agenda. I'm just going to serve my country."

Good, but could blow up

Phil Gramm. Democratic turn-coat, economics professor, Texan Senator, aged 53. A fiscal conservative, Senator Gramm has learned to recite the dogma of the religious right. But his unprepossessing looks and thick southern drawl have undermined his well-heeled campaign.

19 per cent

"I have the most reliable friend you can have in American politics and that is ready money."

Poor

Lamar Alexander. Former Tennessee Governor and Bush Education Secretary, aged 55. Running as an outsider, who would return power to the states. To attract attention, Mr Alexander has been walking across New Hampshire but his costly campaign remains equally pedestrian.

8 per cent

"Let's go far with Lamar."

Poor

Pat Buchanan. Former Nixon and Agnew speech-writer, ultra-conservative columnist, aged 56. Anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-government, anti-free- trade, Buchanan makes the others look centrist. Loud-mouth darling of the religious right, but short of credibility and funds.

19 per cent

"Our Western heritage is going to be handed down to future generations and not dumped into some landfill called multiculturalism."

Inconceivable

Richard Lugar. Indiana Senator, foreign affairs expert, aged 63. Respected but too nice, too lugubrious and too moderate to succeed in this race. Why is he bothering?

9 per cent

"I believe I bring more to the table than the other candidates."

None

Arlen Specter. Lawyer, Pennsylvania Senator, former staffer on Warren Commission (which investigated JFK assassination), aged 65. A moderate, unimpressive pro-abortion Republican of the old school, Specter is detested by the religious right.

9 per cent

"I have a strong programme for cutting back on violent crime."

None

Robert Dornan. Fundamentalist Californian Congressman, Vietnam Veteran, aged 62. Dornan has a visceral, tribal hatred of all Democrats, starting with Mr and Mrs Clinton. Running to give himself more opportunities to pursue this hobby.

8 per cent

"I'm a former fighter pilot. I'm ready for what may be the toughest mission of my life. I do not know how far I will go, but I will try."

None

Steve Forbes. Publishing tycoon, son of the late Malcolm Forbes, supply-side economic guru, aged 48. Forbes, the most interesting man in the race, is spending millions of his own money (he can afford it) to push for a return to Reaganomics. Surprisingly successful so far.

13 per cent

"Start by scrapping the tax code. Don't fiddle with it. Junk it. Bury it. Replace it with a pro-growth, pro-family tax cut that lowers tax rates to 17 per cent."

Poor

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