1980 Presidential Election

The United States presidential election of 1980 featured a contest between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican Congressman John B. Anderson, who ran as an independent. Reagan, aided by the Iran hostage crisis and a worsening economy at home, won the election in a landslide. Carter, after defeating Ted Kennedy for the Democratic nomination, attacked Reagan as a dangerous right-wing radical. For his part, Reagan, the former Governor of California, repeatedly ridiculed Carter, and won a decisive victory; in the simultaneous Congressional elections, Republicans won control of the United States Senate for the first time in 28 years. This election marked the beginning of what is popularly called the "Reagan Revolution."

Source: Wikipedia

1980 Election Results

Candidate Party Electoral Votes Popular Votes
Ronald Reagan Republican 489 43,901,812
Jimmy Carter (I) Democratic 49 35,483,820
John Anderson Independent 0 5,719,850
Ed Clark Libertarian 0 921,128

1980 Election Facts

  • Independent candidate John B. Anderson received 5,719,437 votes, but no Electoral Votes
  • Issues of the Day: Iran hostage crisis, USSR invasion of Afghanistan (Summer Olympics boycott), Inflation

Margin of Victory Map

This map is shaded by how large the popular vote difference was between the two nominees. It is a way to view the relative competitiveness of each state. These maps are also available as a timeline for each election from 1972-2020.