Seth B. Hinshaw
The “Prohibition Party primary” of 2004 is over, and the undisputed winner is Gene Amondson. Although listed on the ballot in only two states, Amondson won at least 1944 listed votes, plus write-ins. This is the highest vote total for the Prohibition Party in a presidential election since 1988. It represents a significant improvement for the Prohibition Party in many ways, and it shows that the Party is on the road to recovery.
In Colorado, Amondson was one of 12 candidates listed on the ballot. Running on the “Concerns of People” ticket, he placed eighth, with 378 votes. While this is not a lot of votes, it is a significant increase over our vote there in 2000 (209). The man who won those 209 votes in 2000 was listed on the ballot in Colorado this year on the Prohibition Party ticket, but he won only 140 votes. These 140 votes represent the record-lowest vote in Colorado for a Prohibition Party presidential candidate.
To put Amondson’s Colorado vote in perspective, he out-polled the Socialist Equality Party, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Socialist Party, rather than placing dead list, as the Party did in Colorado in 2000.
Amondson appeared on the ballot in Louisiana, as well. It was the first time since 1888 that the Prohibition Party had contested Louisiana. Amondson, appearing on the ballot as the Prohibition Party nominee, won 1566 votes there. He placed seventh among the nine candidates on the ballot, out-polling the Green Party and the Socialist Workers Party. This is the first time since 1988 that the Prohibition nominee for President has received over 500 votes in any state.
Looking at the Louisiana vote by parish, Amondson placed third, right behind Bush and Kerry, in four parishes. Who knows when that last happened!? Nader out-polled Amondson in four other parishes, leaving Amondson in 4th place.
Amondson ranked 5th in 18 parishes, 6th in 17 parishes, 7th in 3 parishes, 8th in 6 parishes, and 9th in 12 parishes.
Amondson’s total of 1944 votes came from just two states. Nationwide, Amondson placed eleventh among the fifteen listed candidates. The last time only 10 other parties out-polled the Prohibition Party was in 1976. In 2000, 14 other parties out-polled the Prohibition Party, and only one other candidate on the ballot received fewer votes.
A comparison of Amondson’s votes with those of two other third parties gives an indication of how well Amondson would have done if he had been on the ballot in more states. The Socialist Workers candidate, James Harris, received 1173 votes in Colorado and Louisiana, or just 62% of Amondson’s vote. Nationwide, Harris received 6699 votes. The last time the Prohibition Party out-polled the Socialist Workers Party nationally was in 1960. Amondson received more votes than Harris in both Colorado and Louisiana.
Walt Brown, the Socialist nominee, won 1986 votes in Colorado and Louisiana, or only 42 more than Amondson. Nationwide, Brown received 10,259 votes. The last time the Presidential nominee of the Prohibition Party out-polled the Socialist nominee was in 1988.
The following table clarifies the significance of the election of 2004 for the Prohibition Party.
||11th out of 14
||12th out of 20
||13th out of 17
||13th out of 19
||18th out of 23
||16th out of 21
||15th out of 16
||11th out of 15
|| 15th out of 15)