Gov. Michael S. Dukakis swept to commanding primary victories in Ohio and Indiana yesterday as he rolled past the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson toward the Democratic presidential nomination. Vice President George Bush, uncontested as usual, celebrated his certain Republican nomination at a rally a few blocks from the White House.
Jackson won the District of Columbia, capturing a Democratic consolation prize and his first primary victory in six weeks. But Dukakis shed some of his customary caution and proclaimed, "I think it's going to be difficult" for his only remaining Democratic rival to deny him the nomination.
Countered Jackson: "We're moving right along."
The vote count showed otherwise, and Dukakis was adding almost 200 delegates to his total. "We still have 500 some odd [delegates] to go," he said.
Dukakis fashioned side-by-side landslides in Ohio and Indiana, routing Jackson by margins of greater than two-to-one. He also padded his substantial lead in national convention delegates and ratified his status as faraway favorite to win the Democratic nomination and meet Bush in the fall campaign.
The delegate tabulations were slower than the popular vote, but Dukakis led for 175 delegates from the three contests to 70 for Jackson.
The day's Democratic delegate arithmetic clearly favored Dukakis, the prohibitive favorite to lock up thenomination weeks before the Democratic NationalConvention convenes in July in Atlanta. Ohiopicked 159 delegates to the Democratic NationalConvention, Indiana 79 and the District ofColumbia 16.
"I feel great about today," the Bay Stategovernor said at a news conference in Boston.
Bush said he felt great, too, as he addressed acheering group of supporters at a rally staged tocelebrate last week's clinching of the Republicannomination.
"It all boiled down to working together," saidthe vice president, who exiled the GOP oppositionwith a 16-state primary sweep on March 8.
"And yet, "Bush told his supporters, "I don'tfeel any finality to what has happened now at all.We've passed the first step, a tremendouslyimportant step... But now we've got a long way togo."
Network interviews with voters at the pollingplace indicated that Jackson won his customaryoverwhelming support among Black voters. TheCBS-New York Times poll said Jackson won onlyabout 15 percent of the white vote in Ohio andabout 10 percent in Indiana.
ABC said its poll indicated that about 60percent of Jackson's supporters in both statessaid they would vote for Dukakis over Bush in thefall campaign, with only 6 percent saying theyfavored the vice president.
Dukakis' twin victories were hailed by someDemocratic Party leaders who are hoping to reclaimthe White House after eight years of Republicanrule.
"It may be boring but I love it," DemocraticNational Committee Vice Chairman Lynn Cutler saidas she surveyed a race that has gone fromturbulent to utterly predictable over the pastmonth with a string of Dukakis primary victoriesin Connecticut, Wisconsin, New York andPennsylvania.
Judy Carnahan, Oregon Democratic Party chair,echoed that sentiment, saying the Californiaprimary next month "will be the icing on the cake"for the Massachusetts governor.
Dukakis' aides expressed confidence about theprimaries still to come, and said they expecttheir candidate will be able to command a majorityof convention delegates by the time the Democraticprimary season ends on June 7.
Dukakis, asked if he thought Jackson shouldrecognize his string of victories as a trend,replied, "I hope so."
Dukakis declined to say whether Jackson shouldtone down his recent criticism, but seemed tosignal as much when he said, "I don't minddisagreements on issues. I just hope we can bothcontinue to campaign with the respect we've hadfor each other in the past year."
At the vice president's "Over The Top" rally ina Washington hotel, Bush proclaimed the RepublicanParty is united as it heads into the fall campaignand he took a shot at his likely Democratic rival.
"Let Mike Dukakis go around here talking aboutpink slips, despair, pessimism in the UnitedStates," Bush said. "I'll be the guy out theretalking about hope and opportunity and challenge."
Bush's son George Jr., said his father "needs areal job" and added: "Sometimes sons can saythings a father can't. We want you to go out thereand kick some Mike Dukakis, and kick him hard."
The returns looked like this:
In Ohio, with 41 percent of the precinctsreporting, Dukakis had 353,600 or 65 percent, to124,734 or 23 percent for Jackson.
In Indiana, with 56 percent of the precinctsreporting, Dukakis had 240,930 or 68 percent toJackson's 88,911 or 25 percent.
In the District of Columbia, with 40 percent ofthe vote counted, Jackson had 24,471, or 77percent to 6,617 or 21 percent for Dukakis.
On the Republican side, Bush had 260,976 or 80percent of the Republican vote in Ohio; 190,516 or84 percent in Indiana; and 26,097 for 90 percentin the district, where he resides