Two Utahns must know how it feels to finish 16th and 18th in what was essentially a two-man race.
Bluffdale resident Earl Jeppson, the vice presidential candidate for the American Party, and independent presidential candidate Louie Gene Young-keit of Provo were on two of the 19 official presidential tickets appearing on ballots in at least one of the 50 states this year.They didn't do well.
In fact, "None of the Above" - an official presidential choice on the Nevada ballot - received twice as many votes in national tallies as the campaigns of Jeppson and Youngkeit combined.
Political extremist Lyndon Larouche - who is on trial for tax-related charges - received six times the votes of Jepp-son and about 26 times the votes of Youngkeit.
Youngkeit's 363 votes enabled him to finish higher than only one other candidate appearing on a ballot, John Martin of the Third World Assembly, who received 229 votes nationally.
That means Youngkeit finished 48,138,115 votes behind president-elect George Bush, and 41,113,705 votes behind Democrat Michael Dukakis.
No recount is expected.
The tallies are from a just-released Associated Press canvass of votes in the 50 states.
Jeppson told the Deseret News that he and American Party presidential candidate Delmar Dennis finished about where they expected to - 15th place with 3,968 votes.
"We were only on ballots in Utah and Minnesota, I think," he said. "We just didn't have much money to do any campaigning. That hurt, as did the lack of cooperation from the media to give us any coverage at all. I'm not throwing stones at the media, though. I guess if we had given them some news, they would have printed it."
Jeppson said, however, that the Utah-based American Party has high hopes for the future and is already making plans to avoid finishing as low as it did this year.
"We have a meeting in North Carolina on Dec. 2 to plan how to get on the ballot in other states. We have a much better future than what we've had."
Youngkeit could not be reached for comment. His campaign was managed by his mother. He maintained that the CIA tortured and tried to kill him when he was 12 years old - which he said he hoped would bring some sympathy from voters.
Also of some interest in Utah, Libertarian candidate Ron Paul - who campaigned extensively in the state - received the most votes of any third-party candidate, 409,412 or 0.45 percent of the total national vote. Big Water, Kane County, is the only town in America controlled by the Libertarian Party.
The Associated Press reported that the best state for Paul was Alaska, where he received 3 percent of the vote.
Overall, the 17 different third-party candidates received less than 1 percent of the total national vote.