Utah's electors, the only five people in the state who really get to vote for the president, are apparently unswayed by one man's nationwide effort to keep Dan Quayle out of the White House.
John P. Blair, who lists his address as a route number in Vashon, Wash., has apparently sent letters to all 538 electors nationwide urging them to vote for George Bush but to select someone else to be vice president.But Utah's electors will vote for Bush and Quayle.
Douglas Bischoff, one of state's electors, said it's too early to judge whether Quayle will be a good leader. He said few people believed Harry Truman was qualified when he became President Franklin Roosevelt's vice president.
"I admit Dan Quayle would not have been my first choice as a running mate," Bischoff said. "But you can't judge Quayle yet."
Other electors expressed similar loyalties to the vice president-elect.
"My own opinion is that Dan Quayle is a qualified candidate," said elector Donna Dahl.
The electors are scheduled to meet in their respective states Dec. 19 to cast ballots for the presidency. Traditionally, they vote for the ticket that received the most votes in their state. However, they are not required to do so.
Blair feels Quayle, a senator from Indiana, is not qualified or experienced enough to be vice president. His letter tells electors they "should not risk his (Quayle's) selection in the hope that he will never be needed."
"Yours is not an inevitable position. You are responsible for your own vote," the letter said, urging electors to elect either Democratic vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, or another candidate of their own choice or to abstain, leaving the decision to the U.S. Senate.
Blair could not be reached for comment. All of Utah's electors said they had been called by newspapers such as the New York Times to find out how they will vote.
"I suspect you might see a couple of people bolt nationwide," Bischoff said.