The American Independent Party, which was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer, nominated former Alabama Governor George Wallace – whose pro-segregation policies had been rejected by the mainstream of the Democratic Party – as the party’s candidate for president. The impact of the Wallace campaign was substantial, winning the electoral votes of several states in the Deep South. Wallace was the most popular 1968 presidential candidate among young men. Wallace also proved to be popular among blue-collar workers in the North and Midwest, and he took many votes which might have gone to Humphrey. Although Wallace did not expect to win the election, his strategy was to prevent either major party candidate from winning a preliminary majority in the Electoral College, which would then give him bargaining power to determine the winner. Wallace’s running mate was retired U.S. Air Force General Curtis LeMay.
Prior to deciding on LeMay, Wallace gave serious consideration to former U.S. Senator, Governor, and Baseball Commissioner A.B. Happy Chandler of Kentucky as his running mate. Chandler and Wallace met a number of times, however, Chandler said that he and Wallace were unable to come to an agreement regarding their positions on racial matters. Paradoxically, Chandler supported the segregationist Dixiecrats in the 1948 presidential elections. But, after being reelected governor of Kentucky in 1955, he used National Guard troops to enforce school integration.
LeMay embarrassed Wallace’s campaign in the fall by suggesting that nuclear weapons could be used in Vietnam.
States outside the South in which Wallace won more than 10% of the vote: