Independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson is fast moving closer to getting his name on the Nov. 4 ballots in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In many, however, the running mate listed will not be former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick J. Lucey, Mr. Anderson's choice for vice-president.
Lawyers for the Anderson campaign are weighing the consequences of this situation, which could further complicate the Illinois congressman's quest for the White House.
The challenge is getting around those laws in certain states, including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which specify that the name listed as the candidate's running mate on his nomination papers must appear on the ballot.
In Massachusetts, for example, the name of Harvard Business School Prof. George Cabot Lodge, son of former United Nations Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, apparently will have to be listed instead of Mr. Lucey. This, despite the fact that it had been understood all along a substitution would be made.
Massachusetts election officials hold that it is too late for a Lodge withdrawal and have so advised the Anderson operatives. They have not yet decided whether to press the matter further, possibly through a court challenge.
The latter is, according to William Robertson of the candidate's legal staff, "very much a possibility." But he notes that the problem of getting the Lucey name substituted for a local Anderson supporter may be a problem in "perhaps no more than a few states."
For obvious reasons, the Anderson forces are especially anxious to get Mr. Lucey's name listed on the Wisconsin ballot.
But as things now stand, it will be Gerald Larsen, a dentist and Anderson booster who will be listed there as Anderson's ballot partner.
Despite assurances from election officials that, should Mr. Anderson carry their state, the electors so chosen could vote for Mr. Lucey instead of the stand-in, there is considerable apprehension within the Anderson camp.
Anderson activists now officially have their candidate's name on the ballot in at least 26 states, with a total of 287 electoral votes.