And then there were two.
With the landslide Super Tuesday victories of Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore '69, the question of who will be the Republican and Democratic Presidential nominees has been all but answered.
Former Sen. Bill Bradley, swept in Super Tuesday primaries, is already talking about his campaign in the past tense and is expected to drop out in the next few days.
Although Ariz. Sen. John S. McCain is far from officially out of the running, his prospects only worsen from here. The two biggest primaries next week are in Texas and Florida--and both states are governed by men named Bush.
Thus with the primary contests effectively over, the focus of frontrunners Bush and Gore shifts dramatically. Rather than continuing to appeal primarily to party voters, each candidate will begin to position himself for the general electorate.
Bill White, director of the ARCO Forum at the Institute of Politics, said the general election will hinge not upon the votes of those firmly entrenched with either party, but on the 20 percent of Americans who comprise the "swing vote" and have traditionally determined the eventual winner.
Gore, however, has a head start.
"Bush and Gore are going to hustle to move to the center," White said. "Because of McCain running to the left of Bush, George Bush has more to do to work to get to the center."
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