The 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, George McGovern, said here Thursday that if he can raise $250,000 in the next two months, he may announce his candidacy for the 1992 Democratic nomination.

"I am hopeful that a clear-spoken, common-sense candidate calling for a dramatic change of direction for America will surface soon. We need a strong alternative voice in the Democratic presidential arena this year," McGovern, 68, told a cheering audience of about 700 at the University of New Hampshire."If no such candidate emerges, I may attempt to fill that leadership vacuum myself. I have not yet made that decision, but I am seriously considering it. That is why I am in New Hampshire today."

McGovern, an anti-Vietnam War candidate, was the Democratic Party's choice in 1972 but Republican Richard Nixon defeated him by a landslide in the general election.

He again entered the race for the presidential nomination in 1984, but dropped out during the primaries.

The former U.S. senator from South Dakota is supported by a core group of 16 political figures and friends, including Rep. Joseph Moakley (D-Mass.) and Larry Agran, mayor of Irvine, Calif., from 1986 to 1990.

At a news conference before the speech, McGovern said he was hoping to raise the $250,000 in private contributions that could be matched with federal funds.

"I won't announce unless I do get it," he said.