Question: What do Guy Houston, Ernest Carlson, Tracy Voight, Keith Stone and a couple dozen other Americans have in common with Philip Crane, John Conally, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan?

Answer: They're all candidates for president of the United States in 1980.

Not everyone may recognize the first string of names, a fact of life that so irritated one candidate, K. Core Seaman of Denver, that he wanted to sue CBS for reporting earlier that Philip Crane was the only announced presidential candidate.

"You can imagine what that did to my campaign," an angry Seaman told a local reporter. Seaman began the God and Country Party to save America, a quest he invites all to join or, as his campaign literature advises, "get the hell out of the way!"

Like his companions in the long-shot pursuit of the presidency, Seaman has registered his campaign with the Federal Election Commission. That office keeps an eye on campaign contributions and expenditures, paperwork with which some lonesome candidates would like to be burdened. For example, Keith Stone of Winter Park, Fla., wrote the commission's staff director that, "I find it very difficult to get my campaign going, but I am continuing. As yet, I have not met the right one for vice president." Stone's platform statement notes that by the time he's elected, "there will be so many new laws on the books that I really will not have to think of any new ones." He suggests a "cooling-off" period during which he'll review laws passed in the last 20 years to see if any can be eliminated.

Nell Fiola of Burnsville, Minn., informed the FEC her campaign account was opened with $1.50 in mid-1976. A year later she added another $10 but a 50-cent service charge in August of 1978 brought her balance down to an even $11.

If the finances of an obscure hopeful are modest, the hopes are not. One candidates, Guy Houston of Miami, Fla., signed his letter announcing his candidacy to the FEC, "Your Next President, Guy Houston," Grady O'Cummings III of Brooklyn picked the Grecian Cave Restaurant on Livingston Street in Brooklyn as the place to toss his hat into the presidential ring last December.

Lawrence Goldberg of Media, Pa., came to the Mayflower Hotel in Washington to host a press conference to announce his candidacy. He is a single-issue candidate, he's told voters in New Hampshire, where he's been campaigning as a Democrat, Goldberg's issue is freedom of the press, which he said in a neatly typed press statement is in jeopardy.

Then, from Texas, there's John Kelso ("Whe Else But Kelso" is the name of his campaign committee in Austin) and Leon Pickett ("Your Ticket Is Pickett") of Houston. In the coming months they will be joined by dozens of other Americans who will prove the old saw that this is a country where anyone can grow up and run for president. CAPTION: Illustration, no caption, By Geoffrey Moss