History of John B. Anderson's 1980 Independent Presidential Candidacy About to be Published

Jim Mason’s book “No Holding Back: the 1980 John B. Anderson Presidential Campaign” is about to be published, and can be pre-ordered at Amazon. This book is considerably longer than an earlier history about that campaign, “Diary of a Dark Horse.”

Anderson made history by being the first independent presidential candidate (as opposed to a minor party presidential candidate) to get on the ballot of all states. In order to do that, he had to win all of his 10 ballot access lawsuits, which he did. The most significant of his victories was the U.S. Supreme Court decision Anderson v Celebrezze, which struck down early petition deadlines for independent and minor party presidential candidates.

Anderson pioneered the technique of using a stand-in vice-presidential candidate on his petitions, and then asking states to let him substitute his actual nominee, Patrick Lucey, a former Democratic Governor of Wisconsin. Anderson didn’t choose Lucey until August 27, 1980, too late for Lucey’s name to be included on petitions in virtually all states. Anderson sued the handful of states that didn’t let him substitute, and won all those cases. Unfortunately he didn’t have the resources to sue South Dakota, the one state that wouldn’t print Lucey’s name on the ballot. Thanks to Darcy Richardson for the news about the book’s release.

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  1. Doremus Jessup · · Reply

    I remember when he hosted Saturday Night Live. Mr. Anderson was quite popular with that crowd.

  2. Demo Rep · · Reply

    How much arbitrary SCOTUS stuff in ballot access cases – i.e. in the A. v. C. opinion (and ALL cases since 1968) ???

  3. Michael · · Reply

    As a long time fan of SNL, I remember the show Anderson was on. He wasn’t the host that week, he just made a cameo appearance. Also, it was Alabama Governor George C. Wallace in 1968 who pioneered using a stand-in vice presidential candidate, using former Georgia Gov. Marvin Griffth until he selected General Curtis LeMay.

  4. Over $60 is a little pricey. Looks really interesting though.

  5. Libraries ………

  6. Life is too short, I’ll skip that one.

  7. Phil Sawyer · · Reply

    Thank you, Darcy and Richard, for this information. I was planning on ordering this book but it cost $60.84 for a paperback edition (no hardbound mentioned). I have too much to read already so I will wait until the price comes down. It would be nice to have a hardbound edition too. By the way, Darcy, I am really looking forward to reading your next book. I will set everything else aside as soon as I get it.

  8. An Alabama Independent · · Reply

    Although I didn’t vote for him, I admired John Anderson for his Independent candidacy. Though not “holding the balance of power” in that election, voters were continually educated that the world won’t come to an end if they vote for someone other than a Democrat or a Republican.

    I also can’t help but wonder, what if Jimmy Carter had pulled a “Lincoln” knocked Walter Mondale off the ticket, and replaced him with Anderson. Does anyone think it might have excited the electorate that would have pulled Carter through to a 2nd term, just like the Lincoln-Johnson ticket of 1864 did?

    Can’t help but wonder???

  9. Michael · · Reply

    It wouldn’t have made much difference. Carter’s one hope was that Anderson would have taken enough states (the polls said the only two he had a chance at winning were Conn. and Mass.) to deadlock the election. Combine the Carter and Anderson vote totals on Election Day and Reagan still would have won.

  10. Michael, you do know that United States Citizens in Guam, various other Pacific islands, Washington DC, various Atlantic islands are never ever allowed to vote for a Presidential Ticket.

    And we preach to others (deaf ears, obviously, to our on going hypocrisy!) about civil rights ????????

  11. Joseph McNiesh · · Reply

    John Anderson was the last of the liberal Republicans, along with New Yorkers Jacob Javits and John Lindsay. Thank Ronald Reagan, in 1980, for purging the party of them.

  12. Michael · · Reply

    To Donald R. Lake–and….?

  13. Michael · · Reply

    ….your point would be?

  14. Demo Rep · · Reply

    What is the EVIL fixation with monarch Presidents — who go powermad and cause all sorts of domestic and/or foreign problems — esp. since 1929 ???

    Some left/right party hack robot Prez who gets 40-60 percent of the popular votes AIN’T the savior of the planet.
    Uniform definition of Elector-Voter in ALL of the U.S.A.

    NONPARTISAN Approval Voting for ALL elected executive officers and all judges

    – pending advanced head to head math.

  15. […] Ballot Access News History of John B. Anderson’s 1980 Independent Presidential Candidacy About to be Published May […]

  16. I cling on to listening to the newscast speak about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i find some?

  17. According to research by Steven Brams, voters may have actually preferred Anderson over Carter. But Plurality Voting distorts voters’ expressions so violently that it looked like Anderson was a distant third.

  18. An Alabama Independent · · Reply

    Aaron Hamlin. This is why I still believe that a “Carter-Anderson” ticket in 1980 may have excited the voters – because it was something new and different – even if with the historical implications. Lincoln most likely would have lost had he not added Johnson (a Democrat) to the ticket in 1864.

    I also think Democrat John Kerry might have won in 2004 had he convinced Republican John McCain to become his “fusion” running mate. Alot of “independent” voters would have been motivated with such an unusual and “independent-like” ticket.

    I don’t understand why more major party candidates today do not dust off the strategy plan which helped Lincoln be re-elected. One problem is they are so “sold out” to their respective parties. In 1864, the Republicans at least, were not as sold out to their party and nothing but their party.

    Maybe someday, we’ll experience electoral history again.

  19. Pointing out GROSS flaws in the preachy, do as we say, don’t do as we do, American Hypocrisy Empire’s political system, on a ballot access blog????????? Hmmmmmmmmm

    1864, the GOP whom hated Lincoln more than Genera; George McClellan, did not select the sitting president.

    Lincoln – Johnson ran on the Union Party ticket …..

    Anderson – Lacey ran on the Unity Party ticket …..

    Even in 1980 folks were pondering H. Ross Perot as VP.

  20. An Alabama Independent · · Reply

    Donald R. Lake. You are correct that the Lincoln-Johnson ticket of 1864 was promoted publicly as the “Union Party” ticket, but the party was internally still “Republican.” There was no serious effort to abandon the GOP and start a new party called the “Union Party.” It was a political “marketing ploy” by the Republicans that paid off.

    I don’t know how Perot on a 1980 ticket would have helped anybody, but I do believe if Republican Bob Dole had discouraged Perot from running on his Reform Party in 1996, by instead offering him the VP spot over Jack Kemp, I believe a Dole-Perot ticket could have sneaked through with a victory. Remember, Perot was still popular with his good showing as an Independent in 1992, and Clinton was re-elected in 1996 with only a plurality. The chemistry and factors were there for a Dole-Perot victory.

    But GOPers were still “fuming mad” and blamed Perot for Bush’s defeat in 1992, when it was their indifferent economic policies which caused the voters to turn to Clinton and made Bush an ex-president.

    But Republicans (and the Democrats sometimes also) show lack of political savvy because of their dying loyalty to their party. It’s “win or lose, but my party comes first.” Just as I often point out about 3rd partisans, “Republicans and Democrats too are their own worst enemies.”

  21. clara bell · · Reply

    #21 i agree with your comments

  22. well, we agree on “Republicans and Democrats too are their own worst enemies.” As disappointing as non Dem and non GOP stuff is, the bigs are bad!

  23. I fail to see how anyone could get excited about the John Anderson for President campaign. He was a boring candidate, even more boring than Jimmy Carter,

    His only original idea was to put a 50 cent a gallon tax on gasoline in order to save social security. In the middle of an economic downturn, few people saw the benefit of a new tax, and all the establishment media pumping for him still could not keep his poll numbers up where they started.

    Since 1980, the only time I heard John Anderson interviewed was during the first Iraq War, which he supported as a United Nations authorized war. He was head of the World Federalist Movement and supported The New World Order.

  24. Compared to Jimmy, Kill the Olympics, and Ronnie, the Actor, Mister Two Law Degrees and former [over seas] Federal Service Officer was the apex of excitement!

  25. An Alabama Independent · · Reply

    As I pointed out earlier, I only admired his candidacy – I was not an advocate of it – other than it made voters in 1980 understand they didn’t have to vote just for either Democrat or Republican nominee.

    While I don’t like seeing 15 candidates running in the General Election (after awhile they start bleeding over into one another, philsophically), I do like to see at least 5 or 6 real distinct choices.

    Anderson was one of those choices in 1980. It is too bad that we didn’t have 2 or 3 more running of the same strength and support which Anderson had running that year.

  26. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Only 2 choices since 1929–

    MORE control freak govt aka statism

    LESS control freak govt aka statism

    1929-2010 govt deficits =
    a mere $ 17.1 TRILLION
    = borrowing/spending 21.1 percent more than govt income =
    de facto U.S.A./ States/ locals bankruptcy = due to STATISM.

  27. An Alabama Independent · · Reply

    You still don’t get it do you, Demo Rep? A National Banking System – with Congress and Congress only issuing interest-free currency, would result in no debt and no bankruptcy. Why do you want to keep believing untruths?

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