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Campaign Notebook

Sunday’s developments:

Presidential race

Lamar Alexander was asked about his lucrative financial dealings and his 1985 proposal to enact a state income tax - issues raised in new Bob Dole ads. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Alexander denied any financial wrongdoing and pledged not to raise marginal income tax rates if elected president. He also criticized Dole’s “negative, desperate campaign.”

Pat Buchanan characterized himself as leader of a political revolution of “peasants with pitchforks.” At a boisterous rally in Nashua, N.H. before more than 1,000 supporters, he predicted victory in Tuesday’s primary.

Bob Dole won the endorsement of former rival Phil Gramm, just four days after the Texas senator quit the Republican presidential race. Gramm said: “I do not believe there is another candidate in the race that can bring together both halves of our party and make it whole.”

Steve Forbes met with a hand-picked group of Christian conservatives in a Nashua hotel room, promising his door would be “would be fundamentally open” to their views if elected.

Dick Lugar, at an evening forum in Concord, N.H., which drew only the bottom half of the eight-man GOP pack, pushed his national sales tax as a remedy to the “flat” economy. Without the kind of tax changes he wanted, Lugar said, “the American dream is effectively over.”

News of note

Buchanan said that parents should have the right to protect their children from the teaching of “godless evolution,” suggesting that he questions the theory of evolution. “I believe these things are best decided at the local level. That’s why I am going to shut down the U.S. Department of Education,’ he said on ABC’s “This Week With David Brinkley.”

In addition to Gramm, Dole won the endorsement of The Boston Globe and baseball legend Ted Williams.

Dole and Buchanan were statistically tied in four of the nightly polls conducted among likely New Hampshire primary voters through Saturday night, while Buchanan edged into the slimmest of leads in a fifth. Alexander was close behind in four of the surveys. The polls suggested that Steve Forbes’ slide has stopped in New Hampshire, leaving him at least within reach of third place, if not tied with Alexander for it.

Today’s stops

Alexander: In New Hampshire at Exeter and Portsmouth.

Buchanan: In New Hampshire.

Dole: In New Hampshire at Rochester and Milford.

Forbes: In New Hampshire at Manchester.

Lugar: In New Hampshire.

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