I had to put that in the title so no one would think I was writing about the lead singer of Yes (even though he doesn't spell his name with an H). But I digress.
My first time voting (I had turned 18 just 2 months beforehand) was in 1980 and it was a doozy - Carter was running for reelection and Ted Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush Senior were all running against him.
The Kennedy campaign was of interest because I was already here in Mass; it was my sophomore year, actually (yes, I started college when I turned 17). But he kinda fizzled on the national stage. The Bush campaign was the only really serious challenge to what was turning into the Reagan juggernaut and of course as I suppose everyone knows, Reagan chose him as his running mate.
Then there was Anderson. He was kind of in the middle on a lot of things, and I did some comparing among the candidates and I found I agreed with him on the most stuff. He was also rather clearly the underdog.
When he didn't get a lot of attention in the Republican primaries, he ran as an Independent.
I registered as a Democrat but I voted for him (absentee ballot in NY). I was for some odd reason invited to his victory party in Boston, which was held in some hotel (the Copley Plaza, maybe? My memory is sketchy on that). The Reagan victory party was being held just above us and they were a lot livelier and a girlfriend and I went upstairs where, despite the fact that we were wearing a crapton of Anderson regalia, we were promptly hit on by two Reagan supporters from, I think, Tufts University. I recall one of them tried the line, "Well, Anderson was my second choice."
Yeah, that really matters in anything but horseshoes and hand grenades, dude.
Anyway, I just remember feeling very hopeful. I imagine a lot of the support for Perot, Nader, and Sanders comes from a similar well.
Anderson was 95.