The American Independent Party divides 1973-1976
After the Schmitz candidacy of 1972, the former George Wallace Party began to collapse into factions. The national committee was headed by Thomas J. Anderson. At the time, the national party was composed of state affiliates using several different names, including the American Party, the American Independent Party, the George Wallace Party, the Courage Party, and the Independent American Party.
The AIP appeared quite helthy at the time of the 1974 midtem elections. It offered candidates for the U.S. Senate using the existing names of state affiliates. "American Party" Senate candidates appeared in CT, FL, ID, IN, IA, KY, NV, NH, and WI. These candidates received 399,675 votes to 274,945 votes for candidates using the "American Independent" label. American Party nominees received a large percentage in several states: 15.7% in FL, 6.4% in NV, and 2% in IN and KY. The only U.S. Senate race in which two factions faced off was in CT, where the "George Wallace Independent" nominee outpolled the "American Party" candidate by a margin of 19,184 to 2,682.
As the year 1976 began, the party considered running George Wallace for President. However, Anderson argued that Wallace was moving to the center in order to win the Democratic nomination. Anderson rescheduled the national convention to a point before the Democratic National Convention, which would force Wallace to choose one party or the other. As a result o