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- September - Reagan announces plans for a third term.
- December - The Democratic primaries begin.
- January - George Bush resigns from the ticket to run against Reagan in the primaries. Senator Bob Dole also runs.
- March 10 - The Republicans renominate Reagan for the third time. He chooses Senator Philip Gramm to be his new running mate.
- April 4 - After a long primary season, the Democrats nominate Senator Ted Kennedy to be their nominee. He chooses former California Governor and fellow nominee Jerry Brown to be his running mate.
- May - The campaign is in full swing. Ted Kennedy ruthlessly attacks Reagan's policies. Reagan counters with his own oratorical skills and ads. Polls rank 51%/49% to Reagan.
- July - Kennedy uses the recent Iran-contra scandal to gain popularity points. Polls are almost dead even.
- August - Campaign heats up as election draws nearer.
- October - Kennedy wins first debate. However, Reagan wins others and Gramm wins the V.P. debate.
- November 8 - Reagan wins reelection for a third term in another landslide, carrying all but three states and winning 60 percent of the popular vote.
- December 25 - When asked about what he wanted for Christmas, Reagan remarks, "Well, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Washington would have been nice."
- January 20 - Reagan is sworn in for a third term, the first occurrence of this since 1941.
- Reagan plans another cut on the capital gains tax.