1980 Elections Carter vs Reagan

Governor Reagan ran in all the republican primaries winning against Howard Baker, John Connaly and Robert Dole, and finally George Bush. Reagan entered the Republican convention in Detroit with the nomination sewed up. President Carter was renominated at the Democratic convention in New York, after turning back a challenge from Senator Teddy Kennedy.

John Anderson ran as the first serious third party candidate since Henry Wallace in 1948. Reagan campaigned for smaller government. He was an effective campaigner, but made a number of serious mistakes on the campaign trail that ultimately forced the campaign to limit his access. Carter on the other hand attacked Reagan and was soon accused of being a "mean" campaigner.

There were very clear issues dividing the candidates in the campaign of 1980. Carter supported the Equal Rights Amendment, while Reagan opposed it. Reagan opposed S. A.L. T. II, while Carter supported it. Carter called for a national health insurance program. President Carter and Reagan participated in a highly anticipated debate. Reagan did well in the debate, satisfying many that he was capable of being Commander in Chief. (watch the full debate below)

Ultimately, however, it was not these issues but the twin issues of the American Hostages in Iran and what the Republicans called the misery index (inflation plus unemployment) ended Carter's chance of being re-elected.

Particpation of Eligible Voters 53.3%

Democratic Convention
Republican Convention

 

State results in 1980

Electoral Results in 1980

Alabama Ronald Reagan 654,192 48.8 Jimmy Carter 636,730 47.4 John Anderson 16,481 1.2
Alaska Ronald Reagan 86,112 54.3 Jimmy Carter 41,842 26.4 John Anderson 11,155 7.0
Arizona Ronald Reagan 529,688 60.6 Jimmy Carter 246,843 28.2 John Anderson 76,952 8.8
Arkansas Ronald Reagan 403,164 48.1 Jimmy Carter 398,041 47.5 John Anderson 22,468 2.7
California Ronald Reagan 4,524,858 52.7 Jimmy Carter 3,083,661 35.9 John Anderson 739,833 8.6
Colorado Ronald Reagan 652,264 55.1 Jimmy Carter 367,973 31.1 John Anderson 130,633 11.0
Connecticut Ronald Reagan 677,210 48.2 Jimmy Carter 541,732 38.5 John Anderson 171,807 12.2
Delaware Ronald Reagan 111,252 47.2 Jimmy Carter 105,754 44.8 John Anderson 16,288 6.9
Florida Ronald Reagan 2,046,951 55.5 Jimmy Carter 1,419,475 38.5 John Anderson 189,692 5.1
Georgia Ronald Reagan 654,168 41.0 Jimmy Carter 890,733 55.8 John Anderson 36,055 2.3
Hawaii Ronald Reagan 130,112 42.9 Jimmy Carter 135,879 44.8 John Anderson 32,021 10.6
Idaho Ronald Reagan 290,699 66.5 Jimmy Carter 110,192 25.2 John Anderson 27,058 6.2
Illinois Ronald Reagan 2,358,049 49.6 Jimmy Carter 1,981,413 41.7 John Anderson 346,754 7.3
Indiana Ronald Reagan 1,255,656 56.0 Jimmy Carter 844,197 37.7 John Anderson 111,639 5.0
Iowa Ronald Reagan 676,026 51.3 Jimmy Carter 508,672 38.6 John Anderson 115,633 8.8
Kansas Ronald Reagan 566,812 57.9 Jimmy Carter 326,150 33.3 John Anderson 68,231 7.0
Kentucky Ronald Reagan 635,274 49.1 Jimmy Carter 616,417 47.6 John Anderson 31,127 2.4
Louisiana Ronald Reagan 792,853 51.2 Jimmy Carter 708,453 45.7 John Anderson 26,345 1.7
Maine Ronald Reagan 238,522 45.6 Jimmy Carter 220,974 42.3 John Anderson 53,327 10.2
Maryland Ronald Reagan 680,606 44.2 Jimmy Carter 726,161 47.1 John Anderson 119,537 7.8
Massachusetts Ronald Reagan 1,057,631 41.9 Jimmy Carter 1,053,802 41.7 John Anderson 382,539 15.2
Michigan Ronald Reagan 1,915,225 49.0 Jimmy Carter 1,661,532 42.5 John Anderson 275,223 7.0
Minnesota Ronald Reagan 873,268 42.6 Jimmy Carter 954,174 46.5 John Anderson 174,990 8.5
Mississippi Ronald Reagan 441,089 49.4 Jimmy Carter 429,281 48.1 John Anderson 12,036 1.3
Missouri Ronald Reagan 1,074,181 51.2 Jimmy Carter 931,182 44.3 John Anderson 77,920 3.7
Montana Ronald Reagan 206,814 56.8 Jimmy Carter 118,032 32.4 John Anderson 29,281 8.0
Nebraska Ronald Reagan 419,937 65.5 Jimmy Carter 166,851 26.0 John Anderson 44,993 7.0
Nevada Ronald Reagan 155,017 62.5 Jimmy Carter 66,666 26.9 John Anderson 17,651 7.1
New Hampshire Ronald Reagan 221,705 57.7 Jimmy Carter 108,864 28.4 John Anderson 49,693 12.9
Now Jersey Ronald Reagan 1,546,557 52.0 Jimmy Carter 1,147,364 38.6 John Anderson 234,632 7.9
New Mexico Ronald Reagan 250,779 54.9 Jimmy Carter 167,826 36.7 John Anderson 29,459 6.4
New York Ronald Reagan 2,893,831 46.7 Jimmy Carter 2,728,372 44.0 John Anderson 467,801 7.5
North Carolina Ronald Reagan 915,018 49.3 Jimmy Carter 875,635 47.2 John Anderson 52,800 2.8
North Dakota Ronald Reagan 193,695 64.2 Jimmy Carter 79,189 26.3 John Anderson 23,640 7.8
Ohio Ronald Reagan 2,206,545 51.5 Jimmy Carter 1,752,414 40.9 John Anderson 254,472 5.9
Oklahoma Ronald Reagan 695,570 60.5 Jimmy Carter 402,026 35.0 John Anderson 38,284 3.3
Oregon Ronald Reagan 571,044 48.3 Jimmy Carter 456,890 38.7 John Anderson 112,389 9.5
Pennsylvania Ronald Reagan 2,261,872 49.6 Jimmy Carter 1,937,540 42.5 John Anderson 292,921 6.4
Rhode Island Ronald Reagan 154,793 37.2 Jimmy Carter 198,342 47.7 John Anderson 59,819 14.4
South Carolina Ronald Reagan 441,841 49.4 Jimmy Carter 430,385 48.1 John Anderson 14,153 1.6
South Dakota Ronald Reagan 198,343 60.5 Jimmy Carter 103,855 31.7 John Anderson 21,431 6.5
Tennessee Ronald Reagan 787,761 48.7 Jimmy Carter 783,051 48.4 John Anderson 35,991 2.2
Texas Ronald Reagan 2,510,705 55.3 Jimmy Carter 1,881,147 41.4 John Anderson 111,613 2.5
Utah Ronald Reagan 439,687 72.8 Jimmy Carter 124,266 20.6 John Anderson 30,284 5.0
Vermont Ronald Reagan 94,628 44.4 Jimmy Carter 81,952 38.4 John Anderson 31,761 14.9
Virginia Ronald Reagan 989,609 53.0 Jimmy Carter 752,174 40.3 John Anderson 95,418 5.1
Washington Ronald Reagan 865,244 49.7 Jimmy Carter 650,193 37.3 John Anderson 185,073 10.6
West Virginia Ronald Reagan 334,206 45.3 Jimmy Carter 367,462 49.8 John Anderson 31,691 4.3
Wisconsin Ronald Reagan 1,088,845 47.9 Jimmy Carter 981,584 43.2 John Anderson 160,657 7.1
Wyoming Ronald Reagan 110,700 62.6 Jimmy Carter 49,427 28.0 John Anderson 12,072 6.8
Dist. of Col. Ronald Reagan 23,545 13.4 Jimmy Carter 131,113 74.8 John Anderson 16,337 9.3
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