Probably the best advice Sen. Bob Dole can get at this moment is not to spend a lot of time stewing about Pat Buchanan.

Fretting over a Buchanan endorsement is like a political candidate in the old days worrying over the potential loss of support from Jimmy Hoffa.Buchanan's sister and campaign manager, Bay, has been quoted as saying there is "bad blood" between Dole and Buchanan in a way there wasn't with George Bush four years ago.

How fortunate for Dole, who certainly doesn't need a repeat of the 1992 Houston GOP convention where Buchanan's extremism helped turn off millions of moderate voters who could have been expected to back the Republican incumbent.

Buchanan seems determined to continue running, although he has no chance - actually never had one - of capturing the nomination and can now act only as a spoiler. It is typically spiteful and may help Dole more than hurt him.

American voters rarely stray in large numbers from the mainstream, and while the mainstream may shift slightly, it never moves too far right or left. There is little question where Buchanan fits in the spectrum. On many issues he is almost off the charts to the right.

Dole properly called him an extremist, and although he backed off slightly, Buchanan has a long memory. But those who have supported Buchanan in the primaries aren't likely to abandon the GOP in favor of President Clinton in this fall's election.

There are those who believe Buchanan could cost Dole dearly if he decides to try a third-party candidacy. It is unlikely that Buchanan would go that route, but even if he did, those who support his positions on guns and abortion and trade learned the penalty for taking a hike or voting for Ross Perot - election of Clinton.

It would be a major error, as former Bush campaign aides reportedly have told Dole, to make many concessions to Buchanan. Most experts believe Dole shouldn't make any and that it would be far better for him if Buchanan did walk off in a snit.

Dole, who for a time looked to be trying to appease every ultra-conservative faction, now must move back toward the center where he is naturally comfortable.

It is true that Dole's natural inclination as a legislator has been to compromise, to try to bring the factions together. In this case, he must realize those who have supported Buchanan have nowhere else to go on Election Day.