1976Flag of the United States 1984 › ›
United States presidential election, 1980
November 4, 1980
Bob Dole, PCCWW photo portrait Edmund Muskie
Nominee Bob Dole Edmund Muskie
Party Christian Democrat Socialist
Home state Kansas Maine
Running mate John Connally Jimmy Carter
Electoral vote 271 268
Popular vote 32,109,598 32,107,222
Percentage 50.23 49.67
The United States presidential election, 1980, was a democratic election held in 1980 to decide the next president of the United States the Socialist/Progressive/Moderate nominee was the incumbent President, Edmund Muskie of Maine, and the Christian Democratic Party nominee was Bob Dole, Senator from Kansas.

It was one of the most narrow elections in history, as the centrist Edmund Muskie faced off agains the more right-wing Bob Dole. Several states, such as Iowa, Indiana, Idaho, Washington, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, Nevada and South Dakota weren't decided until several weeks after the election. Although there were accusations of voter fraud and inconsistent reporting from precincts in most of those states that went for Dole, none of the accusations were carried through.

Muskie had only been president since 1977, as he was George McGovern's Vice President. McGovern resigned from the presidency due to his inability to handle it, and gave the presidency over to his Vice President, Muskie in 1977.

The Christian Democratic Party suceeded the Republican Party in 1974, as it collapsed in support and members after the disastorous Spiro Agnew presidency. It was also the first time a right-winger had been elected to the presidency since Agnew.

The Vice Presidential candidates were the incumbent Vice President, former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia, who had been a surprise pick once Muskie ascended to the presidency. The Republican nominee for Vice President was former Texas Governor John Connally. Conally was a member of the Moderate Party, and a friend of the Kennedys, a prestigious Socialist political family.


Bold denotes party nominee.

Socialist Party

There was really no question that Muskie would be renominated, and there was only token opposition.

President Edmund Muskie, Maine

Vice President Jimmy Carter, Georgia

Lyndon LaRouche, Virginia

The Moderates and Progressives endorsed Muskie/Carter, as was expected.

Christian Democratic Party

The CDP also knew right from the start who would be their nominee. Strom Thurmond, the CDP's nominee in 1976 and the American Independent Party nominee in 1972, ran again in 1980 but lost in the primaries to much more mainstream candidate Bob Dole.

Senator Bob Dole, Kansas

Former Governor John Connally, Texas

Senator Strom Thurmond, South Carolina


As stated before, the election was one of the most narrow elections in history, as several states weren't decided until late November and early December. Accusatiosn arose of vote-buying, voter fraud and election reporting fraud, but none came to fruition.

On December 3, Bob Dole was named president-elect of the United States.