WASHINGTON, D.C.: Dole's overwhelming eight-state victory Tuesday convincingly bolstered what had been a lackluster campaign. After adding 199 delegates to the 91 he had won earlier, Dole now has 290 (or more than one-fourth) of the 996 delegates he needs to lock up the nomination. At a Washington rally, a beaming Dole read the roll call of the states that came through for him Tuesday: "Thank you Colorado, thank you Connecticut," said the Kansan as he ran through the list, which included Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia and Maine. Dole's win last night was so decisive that Alexander, once considered formidable, and Lugar, who only last night broke into the double digits, withdrew from the race today and endorsed Dole. Buchanan and Forbes vowed to stay in the race. Dole also collected the endorsements of former President George Bush's sons Jeb and George W., Governor of Texas. Ninety-three delegates are at stake in the next contest, in New York on Thursday. Dole and Forbes are the only candidates on the ballot in all state congressional districts, and Dole has the backing of the Republican party leaders. TIME National Political Correspondent Michael Duffy says this week's developments virtually clinch the nomination for Dole. "Before, it was Dole's nomination to lose. Now, it's Dole's nomination," says Duffy. "He still has three more big primary days in three weeks, if Forbes stays in it, but he's already turning his attention to defeating Clinton."
Then There Were Six