Open main menu

Electoral history of Ronald Reagan

On the campaign trail, President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan wave from limousine while touring Dixon, Illinois. February 1984.

This is the electoral history of Ronald Reagan. Reagan, a Republican, served as the 40th President of the United States (1981–89) and earlier as the 33rd Governor of California (1967–75). At 69 years, 349 days of age at the time of his first inauguration, Reagan was the oldest person to assume the presidency in the nation's history, a distinction now held by Donald Trump, who was 70 years, 220 days old at the time of his 2017 inauguration. Even so, Reagan remains the oldest person ever elected president, in 1984 at 73.

Having been elected twice to the presidency,[1] Reagan reshaped the Republican party, led the modern conservative movement, and altered the political dynamic of the United States.[2] His 1980 presidential campaign stressed some of his fundamental principles: lower taxes to stimulate the economy,[3] less government interference in people's lives,[4] states' rights,[5] and a strong national defense.[6]

During his presidency, Reagan pursued policies that reflected his personal belief in individual freedom, brought changes domestically, both to the U.S. economy and expanded military, and contributed to the end of the Cold War.[7] Termed the Reagan Revolution, his presidency would reinvigorate American morale,[8][9] reinvigorate the American economy and reduce American reliance upon government.[7]

Contents

1966 California gubernatorial electionEdit

 
Results of the 1966 gubernatorial election

California Republicans were impressed with Reagan's political views and charisma after his "Time for choosing" speech,[10] he announced in late 1965, his campaign for Governor of California in 1966.[11][12] He won the Republican primary with nearly 65% of the vote, not including write-in votes, defeating four other candidates, including former San Francisco mayor George Christopher.[13] Although he did not run in the Democratic primary, Reagan received 27,422 votes as a write-in candidate.[13](p2) Not including write-in candidates, 2,570,396 total votes were cast in the Democratic primary,[13](p6) so Reagan's votes would have comprised about 1% of the total Democratic primary votes. In Reagan's campaign, he emphasized two main themes: "to send the welfare bums back to work", and, in reference to burgeoning anti-war and anti-establishment student protests at the University of California at Berkeley, "to clean up the mess at Berkeley".[14] Ronald Reagan accomplished in 1966 what US Senator William F. Knowland in 1958 and former Vice-President Richard M. Nixon in 1962 had tried: he was elected, defeating two-term governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, and was sworn in as the 33rd governor of California on January 2, 1967.[10][15]

Republican primaryEdit

1966 Republican primary election results[13](p6)[a]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ronald Reagan 1,417,623 64.85
Republican George Christopher 675,683 30.91
Republican William Penn Patrick 40,887 2.05
Republican Warren N. Dorn 44,812 2.04
Republican Joseph R. Maxwell 7,052 0.32
Total votes 2,186,057 100

General electionEdit

1966 California gubernatorial election[13][16][17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ronald Reagan 3,742,913 57.55
Democratic Pat Brown (incumbent) 2,749,174 42.27
Other Various candidates 11,358 0.18
Total votes 6,503,445 100.00
Turnout   77.98
Republican gain from Democratic

1968 presidential electionEdit

Shortly after the beginning of his term as California governor, Reagan tested the presidential waters in 1968 as part of a "Stop Nixon" movement, hoping to cut into Nixon's Southern support[18] and be a compromise candidate[19] if neither Nixon nor second-place Nelson Rockefeller received enough delegates to win on the first ballot at the Republican convention. However, by the time of the convention Nixon had 692 delegate votes, 25 more than he needed to secure the nomination, followed by Rockefeller with Reagan in third place.[18]

Republican presidential primariesEdit

 
Gold denotes a state won by Richard Nixon. Blue denotes a state won by Nelson Rockefeller. Green denotes a state won by James A. Rhodes. Purple denotes a state won by Ronald Reagan. Grey denotes a state that did not hold a primary.
1968 Republican Party presidential primaries[20][21][22]
Party Candidate Aggregate votes % CW
Republican Ronald Reagan 1,696,632 37.93 10
Richard Nixon 1,679,443 37.54 10[b]
James A. Rhodes 614,492 13.74 10
Nelson Rockefeller 164,340 3.67 10
Unpledged 140,639 3.14 00

1968 Republican National ConventionEdit

1968 Republican presidential nomination[23]
Party Candidate Votes:
(Initial) Final[c]
%
Republican Richard Nixon (692) 1238 92.95
Nelson Rockefeller (277)0093 6.98
Ronald Reagan (182)0002 0.07
James Rhodes (55)0000
George Romney (50)0000
Clifford Case (22)0000
Frank Carlson (20)0000
Others (35)0000

1970 California gubernatorial electionEdit

 
Results

Despite an unsuccessful attempt to recall him in 1968,[24] Reagan was unopposed in the Republican primary[25] and was re-elected in 1970, defeating "Big Daddy" Jesse Unruh.[15] He did not seek a third term in the following election cycle.

Republican primaryEdit

1970 Republican gubernatorial primary[25](p7)
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ronald Reagan* 1,906,568 100
Total votes 1,906,568 100.00

General electionEdit

1970 California gubernatorial election[25][26][27]
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ronald Reagan (incumbent) 3,439,664 52.83
Democratic Jesse M. Unruh 2,938,607 45.14
Peace and Freedom Ricardo Romo 65,954 1.01
American Independent William K. Shearer 65,847 1.01
Total votes 6,510,072 100.00
Turnout   74.78
Republican hold

1976 presidential electionEdit

 
Republican presidential primary results:
Red indicates a win by Reagan, blue a win by Ford.
 
Roll call vote for the presidential nomination by state delegations
 
1976 electoral college vote.

In 1976, Reagan challenged incumbent President Gerald Ford in a bid to become the Republican Party's candidate for president. Reagan soon established himself as the conservative candidate with the support of like-minded organizations such as the American Conservative Union which became key components of his political base, while President Ford was considered a more moderate Republican.[28] Though Reagan lost the Republican nomination, he received 307 write-in votes in New Hampshire, 388 votes as an Independent on Wyoming's ballot, and a single electoral vote from a faithless elector in the November election from the state of Washington,[29] which Ford had won over Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter. Ford ultimately lost the general election to Carter.

Republican primariesEdit

1976 Republican Party presidential primaries[30]
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Aggregate votes % CW
Republican Gerald Ford* 5,529,899 53.29 27[d]
Ronald Reagan 4,760,222 45.88 240
Others 44,626 0.43 00
Unpledged 34,717 0.34 00

Republican National ConventionEdit

1976 Republican presidential nomination[31][32]
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Gerald Ford* 1,187 52.57
Ronald Reagan 1,070 47.39
Elliot Richardson 1 0.04
1976 Republican
vice presidential nomination[33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bob Dole 1,921 85.04
Abstentions 103 4.56
Jesse Helms 103 4.56
Ronald Reagan 27 1.20
Phil Crane 23 1.02
John Grady 19 0.84
Louis Frey 9 0.40
Anne Armstrong 6 0.27
Howard Baker 6 0.27
William F. Buckley 4 0.18
John Connally 4 0.18
David C. Treen 4 0.18
Others 30 1.30

Electoral College voteEdit

1976 United States presidential election results
Electoral College vote[34]
* denotes incumbent
Party Presidential
candidate
Vice presidential
Candidate
EV
Democratic Jimmy Carter Walter Mondale 2970
Republican Gerald Ford* Bob Dole 2400
Republican Ronald Reagan Bob Dole 1[e]
Total votes: 538
Votes necessary: 270

1980 presidential electionEdit

 
1980 electoral college vote

Reagan ran against Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter and independent candidate John B. Anderson.[1][35] He was praised by supporters for running a campaign of upbeat optimism.[36] Aided by the Iran hostage crisis and a worsening economy at home marked by high unemployment and inflation, Reagan won the election in a massive landslide.[37][38] The 1980 presidential election marked the beginning of the Reagan Era, and signified a conservative realignment in national politics.[39][40]

Republican presidential primariesEdit

 
Republican presidential primary results: Red indicates a win by Reagan, blue a win by Bush.
1980 Republican Party presidential primaries[41]
Party Candidate Aggregate votes % CW
Republican Ronald Reagan 7,709,793 59.79 440
George H. W. Bush 3,070,033 23.81 7[f]
John B. Anderson 1,572,174 12.19 00
Howard Baker 181,153 1.41 00
Phil Crane 97,793 0.76 00
John Connally 82,625 0.64 00
Unpledged 68,155 0.53 00

Republican National ConventionEdit

1980 Republican presidential nomination[42]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ronald Reagan 1,939 97.44
John B. Anderson 37 1.86
George H. W. Bush 13 0.65
Anne Armstrong 1 0.05

Presidential electionEdit

1980 United States presidential election[35][43]
* denotes incumbent
Party Presidential
candidate
Vice presidential
Candidate
PV  (%) EV  (%)
Republican Ronald Reagan George H. W. Bush 43,903,230  (50.75) 489  (90.9)
Democratic Jimmy Carter* Walter Mondale* 35,480,115  (41.01) 49   (9.1)
Independent John B. Anderson Patrick Lucey 5,719,850   (6.61)
0
Libertarian Ed Clark David Koch 921,128   (1.06)
0
Citizens Barry Commoner LaDonna Harris 233,052   (0.21)
0
Others 252,303   (0.29)
0
Total votes: 86,509,678 538
Votes necessary: 270

1984 presidential electionEdit

 
1984 electoral college vote

Reagan ran for reelection as President in 1984, running against Democrat Walter Mondale. Reagan was re-elected, receiving 58.8% of the popular vote to Mondale's 40.6%, and winning 49 of 50 states.[44] Reagan won a record 525 electoral votes (97.6 percent of the 538 votes in the Electoral College), the most by any candidate in American history.[45] This was the second-most lopsided presidential election in modern U.S. history after Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1936 victory over Alfred M. Landon, in which he won 98.5 percent or 523 of the (then-total) 531 electoral votes.[46][47]

Republican presidential primariesEdit

1984 Republican Party presidential primaries[46][48]
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Aggregate votes % CW
Republican Ronald Reagan* 6,484,987 98.78 50
Unpledged 55,458 0.85 0
Harold Stassen 12,749 0.19 0

Republican National ConventionEdit

1984 Republican presidential nomination[49]
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ronald Reagan* 2,233 99.91
Abstentions 2 0.09

Presidential electionEdit

1984 United States presidential election[44][50]
* denotes incumbent
Party Presidential
candidate
Vice presidential
Candidate
PV  (%) EV
Republican Ronald Reagan* George H. W. Bush* 54,455,472  (58.77) 525  (97.6)
Democratic Walter Mondale Geraldine Ferraro 37,577,352  (40.56) 13  (2.4)
Libertarian David Bergland James Lewis 228,111  (0.25)
0
Others 393,298  (0.42)
0
Total votes: 92,653,233 538
Votes necessary: 270

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Vote totals do not include write-in votes, including Sam Yorty who received 3,993 votes, and Pat Brown who received 1,700 votes.[13](p2)
  2. ^ Richard Nixon won primaries in 9 states plus the District of Columbia primary.
  3. ^ First ballot switches following roll call vote.
  4. ^ Gerald Ford won primaries in 26 states plus the District of Columbia primary.
  5. ^ One faithless elector in the state of Washington cast his electoral vote for Ronald Reagan (president) and Bob Dole (vice president).
  6. ^ George H. W. Bush won primaries in 6 states plus the District of Columbia primary.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Ronald Reagan: Campaigns and Elections". Miller Center of Public Affairs. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Loughlin, Sean (July 6, 2004). "Reagan cast a wide shadow in politics". CNN. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
  3. ^ Uchitelle, Louis (September 22, 1988). "Bush, Like Reagan in 1980, Seeks Tax Cuts to Stimulate the Economy". The New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  4. ^ Hakim, Danny (March 14, 2006). "Challengers to Clinton Discuss Plans and Answer Questions". The New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  5. ^ Kneeland, Douglas E. (August 4, 1980) "Reagan Campaigns at Mississippi Fair; Nominee Tells Crowd of 10,000 He Is Backing States' Rights." The New York Times. p. A11. Retrieved January 1, 2008.
  6. ^ John David Lees, Michael Turner. Reagan's first four years: a new beginning? Manchester University Press ND, 1988. p. 11.
  7. ^ a b Freidel, Frank; Sidey, Hugh (1995). The Presidents of the United States of America. Washington, D.C.: White House Historical Association. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-912308-57-9.
  8. ^ Hayward, Steven F (May 16, 2005). "Reagan in Retrospect". American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Archived from the original on March 13, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  9. ^ Cannon (1991, 2000), p. 746.
  10. ^ a b "The Governors' Gallery – Ronald Reagan". California State Library. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
  11. ^ Gerard J. De Groot, "'A Goddamned Electable Person': The 1966 California Gubernatorial Campaign of Ronald Reagan." History 82#267 (1997), pp. 429–448.
  12. ^ Totton J. Anderson and Eugene C. Lee, "The 1966 Election in California," Western Political Quarterly (1967) 20#2 pp. 535–554 in JSTOR
  13. ^ a b c d e f California Statement of the Vote | 1966–1968. California Secretary of State. 1962. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Kahn, Jeffery (June 8, 2004). "Ronald Reagan launched political career using the Berkeley campus as a target". UC Berkeley News. Retrieved March 30, 2007.
  15. ^ a b "Timeline . Reagan . American Experience . WGBH". Pbs.org. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  16. ^ "1966 Gubernatorial General Election Results – California". uselectionatlas.org. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  17. ^ Anderson, Totton J.; Lee, Eugene C. (June 1967). "The 1966 Election in California". The Western Political Quarterly. 20 (2): 535–554. doi:10.2307/446081. JSTOR 446081.
  18. ^ a b Fischer, Klaus (2006). America in White, Black, and Gray: The Stormy 1960s. Continuum. pp. 241–243. ISBN 978-0-8264-1816-6.
  19. ^ "The New Rules of Play". Time. March 8, 1968. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  20. ^ "Results of the 15 Presidential Primaries in 1968." CQ Almanac 1968], 24th ed., 19-971-19-973. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1969.
  21. ^ "Chronology of Political Events: Nov. 1967—Nov. 1968." CQ Almanac 1968, 24th ed., 19-974-19-978. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1969.
  22. ^ Troy, Schlesinger & Israel 2012, p. 1319.
  23. ^ Troy, Schlesinger & Israel 2012, pp. 1318–1319.
  24. ^ Recall Idea Got Its Start in L.A. in 1898, Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2003.
  25. ^ a b c Statement of the Vote | 1970–1972. California Secretary of State. 1968. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  26. ^ "1970 Gubernatorial General Election Results – California". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  27. ^ Anderson, Totton J.; Bell, Charles G. (June 1971). "The 1970 Election in California". The Western Political Quarterly. 24 (2): 252–273. doi:10.2307/446870. JSTOR 446870.
  28. ^ "Biography of Gerald R. Ford". The White House. Archived from the original on April 11, 2007. Retrieved March 29, 2007. Ford considered himself as "a moderate in domestic affairs, a conservative in fiscal affairs, and a dyed-in-the-wool internationalist in foreign affairs".
  29. ^ "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". U.S. National Archives and Records Admin. Retrieved April 30, 2007.
  30. ^ Troy, Schlesinger & Israel 2012, p. 1386.
  31. ^ "US President – R Convention (1976)". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  32. ^ Troy, Schlesinger & Israel 2012, p. 1385.
  33. ^ "1976 Republican Convention Divided Republicans Nominate Ford and Dole". Congressional Quarterly (In CQ Almanac 1976, 32nd ed., 892-99. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1977.). Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  34. ^ "1976 Presidential General Election Results". uselectionatlas.org. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Elections. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  35. ^ a b "1980 Presidential General Election Results". uselectionatlas.org. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Elections. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  36. ^ Skinner, Kudelia; Mesquita, Rice (2007). The Strategy of Campaigning. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11627-0. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  37. ^ Hedrick Smith (November 5, 1980). "Reagan Easily Beats Carter; Republicans Gain in Congress". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  38. ^ Harold Jackson; Alex Brummer (November 5, 1980). "A landslide makes it President Reagan | US news". The Guardian. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  39. ^ Troy, Gil. "The Age of Reagan | The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History". Gilderlehrman.org. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  40. ^ Page, Susan (June 6, 2004). "USATODAY.com - Reagan's political force realigned political landscape". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  41. ^ Troy, Schlesinger & Israel 2012, p. 1418.
  42. ^ Troy, Schlesinger & Israel 2012, pp. 1477-1418.
  43. ^ "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  44. ^ a b "1984 Presidential General Election Results". uselectionatlas.org. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Elections. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  45. ^ "The Reagan Presidency". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Retrieved April 19, 2008.
  46. ^ a b "United States presidential election of 1984 | United States government". Britannica.com. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  47. ^ Murse, Tom (January 28, 2019). "The Most Lopsided Presidential Elections in U.S. History: How a Landslide is Measured". ThoughtCo. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  48. ^ Troy, Schlesinger & Israel 2012, p. 1448.
  49. ^ Troy, Schlesinger & Israel 2012, p. 1447.
  50. ^ "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved April 11, 2019.

BibliographyEdit