Though he insists he's not interested, Colin Powell is still a popular choice for vice president when state GOP chairmen look over Bob Dole's choices.

Fifteen of the 29 chairmen surveyed by the Associated Press named Powell as the vice presidential candidate with the greatest appeal in their states. But others thought a governor would mesh better with the Republican theme of moving power out of Washington.Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin, John Engler of Michigan, Mike Leavitt of Utah, George W. Bush of Texas and William Jank-low of South Dakota each picked up one or two of the state chairmen's votes.

The state chairmen, who are charged with turning out Republican voters on Election Day, are meeting for the last time before the August convention. In a 40-minute luncheon speech Friday, national chairman Haley Barbour rallied them with talk of unity and teamwork, and advocated sticking to the issues.

"When the election is about issues, Republicans win," he said.

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Honing election-year strategy at a Washington conference, the party leaders also had a request for Congress: Pass a balanced budget amendment so Republicans can run on it in November.

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