Republican Party presidential primaries, 1980

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Republican Party Presidential Primaries, 1980
United States
1976 ←
January 21 to June 3, 1980
→ 1984

 Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpgGeorge H. W. Bush, President of the United States, official portrait.jpgJohn Bayard Anderson.jpg
NomineeRonald ReaganGeorge H. W. BushJohn B. Anderson
PartyRepublicanRepublicanRepublican
Home stateCaliforniaTexasIllinois
States carried446
(D.C., PR)
0
Popular vote7,709,7933,070,0331,572,174
Percentage59.79%23.81%12.19%

Republican presidential primary results, 1980.svg

Shading indicates level of support; darker colors signify a win by 60% or more, lighter colors show a plurality or bare majority.

Republican presidential candidate before election

Gerald Ford

Republican presidential candidate-elect

Ronald Reagan

 
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Republican Party Presidential Primaries, 1980
United States
1976 ←
January 21 to June 3, 1980
→ 1984

 Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpgGeorge H. W. Bush, President of the United States, official portrait.jpgJohn Bayard Anderson.jpg
NomineeRonald ReaganGeorge H. W. BushJohn B. Anderson
PartyRepublicanRepublicanRepublican
Home stateCaliforniaTexasIllinois
States carried446
(D.C., PR)
0
Popular vote7,709,7933,070,0331,572,174
Percentage59.79%23.81%12.19%

Republican presidential primary results, 1980.svg

Shading indicates level of support; darker colors signify a win by 60% or more, lighter colors show a plurality or bare majority.

Republican presidential candidate before election

Gerald Ford

Republican presidential candidate-elect

Ronald Reagan

The 1980 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1980 U.S. presidential election. Former California Governor Ronald Reagan was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1980 Republican National Convention held from July 14 to July 17, 1980 in Detroit, Michigan.

Primary race[edit]

Former Governor Ronald Reagan was the early odds-on favorite to win his party's nomination for president after nearly beating incumbent President Gerald Ford just four years earlier. He was so far ahead in the polls that campaign director John Sears decided on an "above the fray" strategy. He did not attend many of the multicandidate forums and straw poll events held in the summer and fall of 1979.

George H. W. Bush, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and chairman of the Republican National Committee, taking a page from the George McGovern/Jimmy Carter playbook, did go to all the so-called "cattle calls," and began to come in first at a number of these events. Along with the top two, a number of other Republican politicians entered the race.

In January 1980, the Iowa Republicans decided to have a straw poll as a part of their caucuses for that year. Bush defeated Reagan by a small margin. Bush declared he had "the Big Mo", and with Reagan boycotting the Puerto Rico primary in deference to New Hampshire, Bush won the territory easily, giving him an early lead going into New Hampshire.

The Nashua debate between Ronald Reagan (left) and George H.W. Bush (right)

With the other candidates in single digits, the Nashua Telegraph offered to host a debate between Reagan and Bush. Worried that a newspaper-sponsored debate might violate electoral regulations, Reagan subsequently arranged to fund the event with his own campaign money, inviting the other candidates to participate at short notice. The Bush camp did not learn of Reagan's decision to include the other candidates until the debate was due to commence. Bush refused to participate, which led to an impasse on the stage. As Reagan attempted to explain his decision, the editor of the Nashua Telegraph ordered the sound man to mute Reagan's microphone. A visibly angry Reagan responded "I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!" (referring to the editor Jon Breen).[1][2][3] Eventually the other candidates agreed to leave, and the debate proceeded between Reagan and Bush. Reagan's quote was often repeated as "I paid for this microphone!" and dominated news coverage of the event. Reagan sailed to an easy win in that state.

Ronald Reagan giving his Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention, Detroit, Michigan, July 17, 1980

Heading into the South Carolina primary, political operative Lee Atwater worked to engineer a victory for Reagan. "Lee Atwater figured that Connally was their biggest threat here in South Carolina. So Lee leaked a story to me that John Connally was trying to buy the black vote. Well, that story got out, thanks to me, and it probably killed Connally. He spent $10 million for one delegate. Lee saved Ronald Reagan's candidacy," said Lee Bandy, a writer for the South Carolina newspaper The State.[4]

Reagan swept the South, and although he lost five more primaries to Bush, including one where he came in third behind John Anderson, the former governor had a lock on the nomination very early in the season. Reagan said he would always be grateful to the people of Iowa for giving him "the kick in the pants" he needed.

Reagan was an adherent to a policy known as supply side economics, which argues that economic growth can be most effectively created using incentives for people to produce (supply) goods and services, such as adjusting income tax and capital gains tax rates. Accordingly, Reagan promised an economic revival that would affect all sectors of the population. He said that cutting tax rates would actually increase tax revenues because the lower rates would cause people to work harder as they would be able to keep more of their money. Reagan also called for a drastic cut in "big government" programs and pledged to deliver a balanced budget for the first time since 1969. In the primaries Bush famously called Reagan's economic policy "voodoo economics" because it promised to lower taxes and increase revenues at the same time.

Candidates[edit]

Nominee[edit]

Withdrew during primaries[edit]

Withdrew before primaries[edit]

Declined to run[edit]

The following potential candidates declined to run for the Republican nomination in 1980.[5][6]

Results[edit]

Statewide[edit]

DateJurisdictionRonald ReaganGeorge H. W. BushJohn B. AndersonHoward BakerJohn ConnallyPhil CraneBob Dole
January 21Iowa30%32%4%15%9%7%1%
February 17Puerto Rico0%60%0%37%1%0%0%
February 26New Hampshire50%23%10%13%2%2%0%
March 4Massachusetts29%31%31%5%1%1%0%
March 4Vermont30%22%29%12%1%2%0%
March 8South Carolina55%15%0%1%30%0%0%
March 11Alabama70%26%0%1%1%2%0%
March 11Florida56%30%9%1%1%2%0%
March 11Georgia73%13%8%1%1%3%0%
March 18Illinois49%11%36%1%0%2%0%
March 25Connecticut34%39%22%1%0%1%0%
April 1Kansas63%13%18%1%1%0%0%
April 1Wisconsin40%30%27%0%0%0%0%
April 5Louisiana74%19%0%0%0%0%0%
April 22Pennsylvania43%50%2%3%1%0%0%
May 3Texas53%46%0%0%0%0%0%
May 6Washington, D.C.0%66%27%0%0%4%0%
May 6Indiana74%16%10%0%0%0%0%
May 6North Carolina68%22%5%2%0%1%0%
May 6Tennessee74%18%4%0%0%1%0%
May 13Maryland48%41%10%0%0%1%0%
May 13Nebraska76%15%6%0%0%1%1%
May 20Michigan32%57%8%0%0%1%1%
May 20Oregon54%35%10%0%0%1%0%
May 27Idaho83%4%10%0%0%1%0%
May 27Kentucky82%7%5%0%0%0%0%
May 27Nevada83%4%10%0%0%1%0%
June 3California80%5%14%0%0%1%0%
June 3Mississippi89%8%0%0%0%0%0%
June 3Montana87%10%0%0%0%0%0%
June 3New Jersey81%17%0%0%0%0%0%
June 3New Mexico64%10%12%0%0%7%0%
June 3Ohio81%19%0%0%0%0%0%
June 3Rhode Island72%19%0%0%0%0%0%
June 3South Dakota88%4%0%0%0%0%0%
June 3West Virginia84%14%0%0%0%0%0%

Nationwide[edit]

Primaries total popular vote number:[7]

The 1980 Republican National Convention was held in Detroit, Michigan from July 14 to July 17.

Presidential tally:[8]

VP Selection[edit]

Reagan initially negotiated with Gerald Ford to be his running mate; when the complex plan fell through (Ford reportedly insisted Henry Kissinger and Alan Greenspan be offered cabinet positions), Reagan chose Bush as the Republican vice presidential candidate. Other candidates mentioned included,

Vice Presidential tally:[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reagan's Nashua Moment
  2. ^ Monday, Mar. 10, 1980 (1980-03-10). "Nation: We Were Sandbagged". TIME. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  3. ^ "Molloy Sound and Video Contractors: Articles (1/1/11)". Molloysoundandvideo.com. 2000-02-10. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  4. ^ "FRONTLINE: boogie man: the lee atwater story: transcript". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved July 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ By HP-Time.com;Hugh Sidey Monday, May. 29, 1978 (1978-05-29). "The PRESIDENCY: Roses with a Touch of Ragweed". Time.com. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  6. ^ Monday, Nov. 15, 1976 (1976-11-15). "REPUBLICANS: There's Life in the Old Party Yet". Time.com. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  7. ^ "US President - R Primaries Race - Feb 17, 1980". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  8. ^ "US President - R Convention Race - Jul 14, 1980". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  9. ^ "US Vice President - R Convention Race - Jul 14, 1980". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 

Further reading[edit]