Governors Say Perot's Impact Limited

ROSS PEROT'S entry into the race for the White House could hurt Democrat Bill Clinton's front-running campaign in some states, but help in others. Three Democratic governors from usually-Republican states say Mr. Perot's overall impact on the Clinton-Bush contest will be a wash.

Gov. Roy Romer (D) of Colorado admits that "Perot hurts Clinton" in Colorado, but in the critical Midwest, Gov. Evan Bayh (D) of Indiana says Perot "helps Bill Clinton by 2 or 3 percent."

Gov. David Walters (D) of Oklahoma says Perot's emphasis on issues such as campaign reform and the national debt will eventually boost the Democratic candidate. He explains:

"On an issues race, Bill Clinton is going to run away with this thing. Because you can't talk about the issues without talking about performance and record. And when the president has to concentrate on performance and record, it's an absolute disaster."

The three governors, visiting Washington to discuss education policy, were guests at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast on Sept. 29.

Since the governors are all Democrats, it was no surprise that they strongly support Governor Clinton. What was noteworthy was that they spoke optimistically about the prospect of a huge Clinton victory.

Because of pocketbook issues, Governor Walters says this election will be "virtually a blowout." Governor Bayh agrees, explaining that Clinton now threatens President Bush even in Vice President Dan Quayle's home state. -PATHNAME- /usr/local/etc/httpd/plweb/DBGROUPS/paper/database/tape/92/sep/day30/30093.

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