1980 United States presidential election

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1980 United States presidential election

← 1976 November 4, 1980 1984 →
Turnout67.2% 2.4 pp
Nominee Ronald Reagan Fidel Castro Jesse Helms
Party Republican Progressive America First
Home state California Cuba North Carolina
Running mate Jeane Kirkpatrick Jimmy Carter Orville Hubbard
Popular vote 42,003,185 31,836,327 19,839,337
Percentage 44.8% 33.9% 21.6%

President before election

Fidel Castro

Elected President

Ronald Reagan

The 1980 United States presidential election was the 49th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 4, 1980. The Republican ticket of Ronald Reagan and Jeane Kirkpatrick defeated incumbent Progressive president Fidel Castro and incumbent vice president Jimmy Carter and the America First ticket of Jesse Helms and Orville Hubbard in a landslide victory. As of 2020, this is the most recent election in which a Progressive president lost reelection.

Castro's unpopularity, scandals and poor relations with Progressive leaders encouraged an unsuccessful intra-party challenge by former senator Eugene McCarthy. Meanwhile, the Republican primaries were contested between former Attorney General Ted Kennedy, former California governors Ronald Reagan and Jerry Brown and several other candidates. Jesse Helms, having been nominated for Vice President in 1976 was virtually unnopposed for the America First nomination.

Candidates[edit | edit source]

Republican Candidates[edit | edit source]

Ronald Reagan Edward Kennedy Jerry Brown
Governor of California
Attorney General
Governor of California
Won nomination LN: July 14
(endorsed Reagan)
W: June 6
(no endorsement)

Progressive Candidates[edit | edit source]

Fidel Castro Eugene McCarthy
President of the U.S.
Senator from Minnesota
Won nomination LN: July 4
(endorsed Castro)