Jean Elkon

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


When George Corley Wallace, twice governor of Alabama and militant advocate for states’ rights and segregation, collected enough signatures to put his American Independent Party on the 1968 ballot for the Presidential race, there emerged on the political scene what many people called a phenomenon, and extraordinary happening or circumstance. It appeared that for a time many observers had considered him only a faintly comical entry. But now George Wallace became a rival who threatened to jostle all political candidates. Nationwide polls certified him as a possible spoiler, and more was his “pull” that tripled his appeal outside the South. Both major parties now had to concern themselves with the new political arithmetic created by Wallace who expected to be on the ballot in nearly all fifty states. It was estimated that Wallace would probably take more votes away from Republicans than from Democrats, and in this new situation every White House aspirant was busy adding up his own special qualifications to blunt the Wallace raid. Wallace conducted a remarkable and sometimes destructive campaign which began in his own state of Alabama, continued throughout many of the southern states, and then progressed to the other sections of the United States. When the final ballot for President of the United States was over, Wallace carried five states in the Deep South: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Although he conducted a national campaign, he did not carry any of the border states or southwestern states, or any states in the North. The Wallace phenomenon was felt by the Democratic and Republican Parties, and for a time, columnist, politicians, and other political observers expressed fears of a third party deadlock of the election.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Speech and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1973 Jean Elkon.

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