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United States Presidential Election, 1980 (For Want of Sobriety)

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1976 Flag of the United States 1984 › ›
United States presidential election, 1980
November 2, 1980
TedKennedy Speech Ronald Reagan
Nominee Edward Kennnedy Ronald Reagan
Party Democrat Republican
Home state Massachusetts California
Running mate Jimmy Carter George Bush
Electoral vote 285 253
States carried 23+D.C 27
Percentage 50.1% 47.7%
Genusmap 1980
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Reagan/Bush (20), Blue denotes those won by Kennedy/Carter (30+D.C.)
President before election
Edward Kennedy
Democratic Party
Elected President
Edward Kennedy
Democratic Party

The United States presidential election of 1980 featured a contest between incumbent President Ted Kennedy and his Republican opponent, Governor Ronald Reagan of California. Kennedy, aided by strong responses to crisis on both the foreign and domestic front, yet straddled by a worsening economy, fought a highly competitive contest with a very Conservative adversary.

After earning the Republican nomination following a battle with Senator George Bush of Texas, Reagan attacked Kennedy over a worsening economy, and framed the President as a figure whose policies where socialistic. At the same time, Reagan called for a new wave of Conservative policy in order to restore national stability. For his part, Kennedy utilized powerful oratory skills, defending his record as leader while casting Reagan as an extremist, reactionary and regressive.

In the end President Kennedy emerged victorious, narrowly edging out a win over Reagan and his running mate, George Bush.

This election marked a leftward political shift for the United States, leading to the eventual moderation of the Republican Party and the revitalization of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

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