1984

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & ELECTIONS

OVERVIEWS & CHRONOLOGIES: 1984

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

OVERVIEW

Election Year: 1984

Election Day Date: November 6, 1984

Winning Ticket:

  • Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Republican 54,455,472 58.77% 525 97.6%

Losing Ticket(s):

  • Walter Mondale, Geraldine Ferraro, Democratic 37,577,352 40.56% 13 2.4%
  • Other (+) – – 620,409 0.67% 0 0.0%

Voter Turnout:

  • Total VAP 174,468,000
  • Total REG 124,176,015
  • Total Vote 92,653,233
  • %VAP 53.1%
  • %REG 74.6%

Central Forums/Campaign Methods for Addressing Voters:

Speeches, rallies, television/print ads, debates

Election Law/Campaign Finance Changes:

Incumbent President and Vice President on Election Day:

Ronald Wilson Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush, Republican 1981-1989

Population: 1984: 236,394,000

Nominal GDP (billions of dollars): $3,930.9 Real GDP (billions of 2005 dollars): $6,577.1 GDP Deflator (index 2005=100%) 59.77 Population (in thousands): 236,394
Nominal GDP per capita (current dollars): $16,629 Real GDP per capita (year 2005 dollars): $27,823

Number of Daily Newspapers: 1,745 (1980)

Average Daily Circulation: 62,201,840 (1980)

Households with:

  • Radio: 79,968,240 (1980)
  • Television: 76,300,000 (1980)

Method of Choosing Electors: Popular vote (mostly General Ticket/Winner Take All)

Method of Choosing Nominees: Presidential preference primaries and caucuses

Central Issues (Nomination/Primaries):

  • Economic recovery from a recession
  • Mid-term Elections: Republicans lost 27 seats in the House
  • Reduction of domestic government spending, tax cuts; increase in defense spending
  • A Majority of Americans were satisfied and believed the country was moving in the right direction

Leading Candidates (Nomination/Primaries):

Republican Party candidates:

  • Ronald Reagan, President of the United States (California)
  • Harold Stassen, former governor of Minnesota
  • Ben Fernandez, Republican National Hispanic Assembly Chairman (California)

Democratic Party candidates:

  • Walter Mondale, former U.S. vice president and former U.S. senator (Minnesota)
  • Gary Hart, U.S. senator (Colorado)
  • Jesse Jackson, reverend and civil rights activist (Illinois)
  • John Glenn, U.S. senator (Ohio)
  • George McGovern, former U.S. senator (South Dakota)
  • Reubin Askew, former Governor of Florida
  • Alan Cranston, U.S. senator (California)
  • Ernest Hollings, U.S. senator (South Carolina)

Primaries:

  • Democratic 30 62.1% delegates
  • Republican 30 71.0% delegates

Primaries Results:

Republican Party (Jul 01, 1984)

  • Ronald Wilson Reagan(I): 6,484,987, 98.78%
  • Unpledged: 55,458, 0.84%
  • Harold Edward Stassen: 12,749, 0.19%

Democratic Party (Jul 01, 1984)

  • Walter Frederick “Fritz” Mondale: 6,952,912, 38.32%
  • Gary Warren Hart: 6,504,842, 35.85%
  • Jesse L. Jackson: 3,282,431, 18.09%
  • John H. Glenn Jr.: 617,909, 3.41%
  • George S. McGovern: 334,801, 1.84%
  • Unpledged: 146,212, 0.81%

Main Controversies (Nomination/Primaries):

  • In 1982, Reagan’s popularity declined, after the enactment of conservative economic program, economic recovery uneven, no foreign policy achievements; advocated stronger military power; time seemed ripe for Democrats, eight candidates entered the race
  • By 1984, economic recovery; October 1983 Grenada invasion to rout the Marxist government; decisive leadership; Reagan’s popularity rose, different landscape for Democratic candidates

Campaign Innovations (Nomination/Primaries):

Major Personalities (Nomination/Primaries):

Gary Hart; “Yuppies,” young upwardly mobile professionals; Jesse Jackson;

Turning Points (Nomination/Primaries):

Republican Party:

  • No serious opposition to the popular incumbent, Reagan; Perennial Harold Stassen only candidate to file in more than one state
  • Reagan did not campaign throughout the primaries, a campaign appearance in Iowa on the day of the caucus
  • Reagan opposition to Reagan, uncommitted slates in Tennessee and Rhode Island, Reagan received only 9% of the vote

Democratic Party:

  • Walter Mondale the front runner with the support of labor organizations (the National Education Association, AFL-CIO); not enough party leaders support;
  • Edward Kennedy chose not to run because of family responsibilities.
  • Colorado Senator Gary Hart, new generation; “new ideas”, moderate and contemporary Democratic candidate, won 16 primaries including New Hampshire.
  • Mondale charged that Hart’s “New Ideas” were shallow, no specifics “Where’s the Beef” commercial.
  • Hart criticized Mondale “old-fashioned” New Deal Democrat, “failed policies” of the past.
  • Hart insulted New Jersey losing the primary in June although he had lead in the polls by 15% points, could not sweep Super Tuesday in June, could gain super delegate support to win the nomination.
  • Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, first black man under serious contention for the serious for the Presidential candidacy on a major party ticket; strong religious overtones; Rainbow Coalition.
  • Jackson lost momentum by referring in a comment to Jews as “Hymies” and New York as “Hymietown” later apologized; association with controversial Rev. Louis Farrakhan.

Primary Debates:

  • Roundtable debate moderated by Phil Donahue, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart; Jesse Jackson participated
  • Mondale and Hart argument over U.S. policy in Central America; Jackson tapped his water glass on the table to prompt them to calm down

Primaries Quotations:

  • “I know myself, I am ready. I am ready to be President of the United States.” Former Vice President Walter Mondale, 1982
  • “Where’s the beef?” Presidential hopeful and former Democratic Vice President Walter Mondale, when attacking Colorado Senator Gary Hart in a 1984 Democratic primary debate. Mondale meant that Hart was only doing lip service
  • “It is time for the old order to pass, for the old establishment politicians to give way. It is time for our voices to be heard at last.” Gary Hart
  • “It’s time for a change. Our time has come!” Jesse Jackson

Primaries:

  • Democratic 30, 62.1% delegates
  • Republican 30, 71.0% delegates

Primaries Results:

Republican Party: Jul 01, 1984

  • Ronald Wilson Reagan(I): 6,484,987, 98.78%
  • Unpledged: 55,458, 0.84%
  • Harold Edward Stassen: 12,749, 0.19%

Democratic Party: Jul 01, 1984

  • Walter Frederick “Fritz” Mondale: 6,952,912, 38.32%
  • Gary Warren Hart: 6,504,842, 35.85%
  • Jesse L. Jackson: 3,282,431, 18.09%
  • John H. Glenn Jr.: 617,909, 3.41%
  • George S. McGovern: 334,801, 1.84%
  • Unpledged: 146,212, 0.81%
  • Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.: 123,649, 0.68%

Conventions (Dates & Locations):

  • Republican National Convention: August 20-23, 1984, Reunion Arena; Dallas, 1st ballot, Ronald W. Reagan (California), George H. W. Bush (Texas)
  • Democratic National Convention: July 16-19, 1984, Moscone Center; San Francisco, Martha Layne Collins (Kentucky), 1st ballot, Walter Mondale (Minnesota), Geraldine A. Ferraro (New York)

Convention Turning Points:

  • Republican National Convention: Only time the presidential and vice presidential roll call were taken concurrently. Last time the Vice Presidential candidate of either major party was nominated by roll call vote.
  • Democratic National Convention: Mondale clinched the nomination on the first ballot and chose New York congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, Ferraro was the first woman nominated to a major party ticket.

Number of Ballots to Choose Nominees:

Republican Party nomination:

Presidential Ballot 1st ballot

  • Ronald Reagan           2,233

Abstaining       2

Vice Presidential Ballot

  • George H. W. Bush    2,231
  • Abstaining       2
  • Jack Kemp      1
  • Jeane Kirkpatrick        1

Democratic Party nomination:

The Balloting Presidential Ballot

  • Walter F. Mondale      2,191
  • Gary W. Hart 1,200.5
  • Jesse L. Jackson          465.5
  • Thomas F. Eagleton    18
  • George S. McGovern 4
  • John H. Glenn             2
  • Joe Biden        1
  • Lane Kirkland             1

Vice Presidential Ballot

Geraldine A. Ferraro   3,920

Shirley Chisholm         3

Convention Keynote Speaker:

  • Democratic National Convention: New York Governor, Mario Cuomo

Nominating Speech Speakers (President):

General Election Controversies/Issues:

War-peace issue; Growing deficit; Age issue (Reagan’s age)

Campaign Innovations (General Election):

Reliance on themes rather than issues in the 1984 campaign

Major Personalities (General Election): Hal Riney (ad man);

Campaign Tactics:

Republican Party:

Masterful use of media, television, radio, courageous leadership; patriotism; nationalism; started campaign with a televised commemoration of the landing of the troops on the beaches at Normandy.

Energetic and busy campaign schedule and schedule of Presidential duties at home and abroad; foreign trips to London, and “so-called Communist China”

Emphasis on improved economy as opposed to Carter-Mondale Administration’s economy; ignored deficit, deflected claims of being a hawk by calling for arms controls negotiations with the Soviet Union; Candidate of peace, prosperity, and piety.

Democratic Party:

Came off looking pessimistic; tried characterizing Ronald Reagan as a bigoted Scrooge and an ignorant Mr. Magoo but confused elusive “swing” voters. Bigotry was a crime of commission; ignorance, one of omission. Besides, Reagan was too nice to seem so mean and appeared too successful to seem so irresponsible

Sharp critical rhetoric of Reagan and his policies; Reagan’s hawkiness, economy, growing deficit, division of Church and state; even calls for a tax increase did not capture voters attention, backfired; only questioning Reagan’s age became an issue

Debates:

  • October 21, 1984 Presidential Debate in Kansas City, Missouri
  • October 7, 1984 Presidential Debate in Louisville, Kentucky
  • October 11, 1984 Vice-Presidential Debate in Philadelphia
  • Two televised Presidential debates
  • Reagan faltered; not as sharp on the first debate, hesitated and rambled during his concluding remarks prompting the Wall Street Journal to run theheadline “IS OLDEST U.S. PRESIDENT NOW SHOWING HIS AGE? Reagan DEBATE PERFORMANCE INVITES OPEN SPECULATION ON HIS ABILITY TO SERVE.”
  • Reagan rebounded on second debate, and dismissed the age issue; “I will not make age an issue of this campaign, I’m not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Turning Points (General Election):

  • Religion issue; abortion, prayer in public schools, school tax credits, Mondale tried to make of issue of Reagan’s support of prayer in public schools, and the separation of church and state, but it did not hold
  • Economy/deficit issue; Mondale made an issue of the growing deficit and proposed tax increases, a position that backfired and proved unpopular with voters; Contrasted with Reagan’s solution of cutting spending across the board except of defense
  • Age issues; revelations Reagan used to fall asleep during cabinet meetings; In August he appeared bewildered when asked about control by a reporter, First Lady Nancy Reagan, whispered a response that Reagan used “Doing everything we can.” Hesitation during his summation at the first Presidential debate
  • Second Presidential debate, strong performance dismissed age issue

Popular Campaign Slogans:

  • Republican Party : “It’s Morning Again In America”; “Bringing America Back: Prouder, Stronger, Better”; “America is Too Great For Small Dreams”; “Leadership That’s Working”
  • Democratic Party: “America Needs New Leadership”; “Mondale/Ferraro: For the Family of America”; “America Needs a Change”

Campaign Song:

  • Democratic: Walter Mondale “Gonna Fly Now”

Influential Campaign Appeals or Ads:

Republican Party:

  • “It’s morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history. With interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980, nearly 2,000 families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married, and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future. It’s morning again in America, and under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?”
  • “Ronald Reagan — Leadership That’s Working”
  • “Bear in the woods” ad (titled “Bear”); “America’s Back” ad

Money Spent (Each Campaign/Party/Overall):

 

Defining Quotation (Winning Candidate):

  • “America’s best days lie ahead,” he exclaimed in the last days of the campaign “and — you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Ronald Reagan
  •  “We can all be proud that pessimism is ended. America is coming back and is more confident than ever about the future. Tonight, we thank the citizens of the United States whose faith and unwillingness to give up on themselves or this country saved us all.” Ronald Reagan Second Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech August 23, 1984
  • “Some of you here were up all night, I have found out, and working. I know the long hours that many of you have put in. And I can only tell you that, if I could manage it, I would schedule a Cabinet meeting so that we could all go over and take a nap together.” Ronald Reagan deflecting the Age Issue
  • “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.” Ronald Reagan adlibbing during a radio test, August 1984
  • “Our goal is an opportunity society, giving everyone not only an equal chance but a greater chance to pursue that American dream. And we can build that future together if you elect people to Congress who will not vote for tax increases but vote for growth and economic progress.” Ronald Reagan
  • “I was about to say to him very sternly, ‘Mr. Mondale, you are taxing my patience.’ And then I caught myself. Why should I give him another idea? That’s the only tax he hasn’t thought about.” Ronald Reagan in Ohio about Mondale’s proposed tax increase
  • “We could say they spend like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors.” Ronald Reagan referring to the deficit and Democratic Congress’ spending
  • “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Ronald Reagan in the second debate with Walter Mondale, defusing the age issue
  • “It’s morning again in America” Ronald Reagan, in reference to the recovering economy and the dominating performance by the U.S. athletes at the Los Angeles Olympics that summer

Defining Quotation (Losing Candidate):

  • “Let’s tell the truth. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.” Walter Mondale
  • “Government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.” Walter Mondale

Campaign Quotations:

  • “I have heard a lot about Christianity and prayer in the schools, but these guys aren’t running for Pope.” Lee A. Iacocca, chairman of the Chrysler
  • “Reagan is the most popular figure in the history of the United States. No candidate we put up would have been able to beat Reagan this year.” Speaker “Tip” O’Neill after the election

Further Reading:

  • Cannon, Lou. President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime. PublicAffairs, 2000.
  • Lucius Jefferson Barker, Ronald W. Walters. Jesse Jackson’s 1984 Presidential Campaign: Challenge and Change in American Politics. University of Illinois Press, 1989.

Lasting Legacy of Campaign:

  • Geraldine A. Ferraro when she was nominated as the Democratic Vice President candidate became the first women nominated by a major party.

 

CHRONOLOGY

  • January 20, 1981: “Fifty-two American hostages held in Iran since November 1979 are released.”
  • March 30, 1981: Assassination attempt on Reagan; he “is shot in the chest by John Warnock Hinckley Jr.”
  • August 13, 1981: “Reagan signs the tax cut into law.”
  • November 1982: Mid-term Elections, Republicans lost 27 seats in the House
  • 1982: Reagan’s popularity declines, after the enactment of conservative economic program, economic recovery uneven, no foreign policy achievements; advocate stronger military power; time seems ripe for Democrats, eight candidates enter the race
  • 1983: Lebanon terrorist truck bomb murdered 241 Marines.
  • March 23, 1983: “Reagan urges development of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), an attempt to create a high-technology anti-ballistic missile shield to protect the United States from nuclear attack.”
  • April 20, 1983: “President Reagan signs the Social Security Reform Bill into law.”
  • June 24, 1983: Prohibition Party Convention nominates Earl F. Dodge Jr. for President.
  • July 1, 1983: “The final phase of the tax cut goes into effect.”
  • September 4, 1983: Libertarian Party Convention nominates David Bergland for President.
  • September 5, 1983: Socialist Party Convention, No Nominee
  • October 1983: Grenada invasion to rout the Marxist government. Reagan shows decisive leadership, and his popularity rises. Becomes a different landscape for Democratic candidates.
  • November 11, 1983: “The House Democratic Caucus, brushing aside objections from Walter F. Mondale, who is considered the front-runner among Democraatic Presidential candidates, have announced plans for a roundtable candidates’ discussion as part of a nationally televised debate among the party’s contenders next Jan. 15.” (NYT)
  • December 4, 1983: American Independent Convention nominates Delmar Denni for President.
  • January 23, 1984 Communist Party Convention nominates Gus Hall for President.
  • February 1984: “Redeployment”of 1400 Marines from Beirut to Navy ships offshore.
  • 1984: Economic recovery from a recession
  • Walter Mondale the front runner with the support of labor organizations (the National Education Association, AFL-CIO); not enough party leaders support;
  • Edward Kennedy chooses not to run because of family responsibilities
  • Colorado Senator Gary Hart, new generation; “new ideas”, moderate and contemporary Democratic candidate, wins 16 primaries including New Hampshire;
  • Primaries 1984: Reagan did not campaign throughout the primaries, only a campaign appearance in Iowa on the day of the caucus. There is no serious opposition to the popular incumbent. Perennial Harold Stassen only candidate to file in more than one state. Opposition to Reagan, uncommitted slates in Tennessee and Rhode Island, Reagan received only 9% of the vote
  • Mondale charges that Hart’s “New Ideas” were shallow, no specifics “Where’s the Beef” commercial
  • Hart criticizes Mondale “old-fashioned” New Deal Democrat, “failed policies” of the past.
  • February 20, 1984: Iowa caucuses (both parties)
  • February 27, 1984: “The Rev. Jesse Jackson acknowledges that he had used the word ”Hymie” in a private conversation to refer to Jews. Appearing at a synagogue in New York, Mr. Jackson, who is seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination, seeks to put to rest a controversy that has dogged his campaign in New York.” (NYT) Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, first black man under serious contention for the serious for the Presidential candidacy on a major party ticket; strong religious overtones; Rainbow Coalition Jackson lost momentum by referring in a comment to Jews as “Hymies” and New York as “Hymietown”. Jackson later apologizes; association with controversial Rev. Louis Farrakhan.
  • February 28, 1984: New Hampshire primary
  • March 4, 1984: Maine Democratic caucuses
  • March 10, 1984: Wyoming Democratic caucuses
  • March 13, 1984: Alabama primary, Florida primary, Georgia primary, Hawaii Democratic caucuses, Massachusetts primary, Nevada Democratic caucuses, Oklahoma Democratic caucuses, Rhode Island primary, Washington Democratic caucuses
  • March 14, 1984: Delaware Democratic caucuses, North Dakota Democratic caucuses (through March 28)
  • March 15, 1984: Alaska Democratic caucuses
  • March 17, 1984: Arkansas Democratic caucuses, Michigan Democratic caucuses, Mississippi Democratic caucuses, South Carolina Democratic caucuses
  • March 20, 1984: Illinois primary, Minnesota Democratic caucuses
  • March 24, 1984: Kansas Democratic caucuses, Virginia Democratic caucuses (and March 26) “Senator Gary Hart charges that Walter F. Mondale had not set forth a positive program in their contest for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but had instead ”dedicated his recent campaign to tearing me down.”” (NYT)
  • March 25, 1984: Montana Democratic caucuses
  • March 27, 1984: Connecticut primary
  • March 29, 1984: Democratic Candidates Roundtable debate moderated by Phil Donahue, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart; Jesse Jackson participated Mondale and Hart argument over U.S. policy in Central America. Jackson interrupts to calm Hart and Mondale down. “Gary Hart and Walter F. Mondale criticize each other heatedly on foreign policy and arms control issues in a nationally televised debate marked by sharp accusations about campaign tactics in the Democratic Presidential contest requiring Rev. Jesse Jackson to try to quiet them down.” (NYT)
  • March 31, 1984: Kentucky Democratic caucuses
  • April 3, 1984: New York primary, Wisconsin primary (Republicans only)
  • April 7, 1984: Wisconsin Democratic caucuses
  • April 10, 1984: Pennsylvania primary
  • April 14, 1984: Arizona Democratic caucuses
  • April 18, 1984: Missouri Democratic caucuses
  • April 24, 1984: Vermont Democratic caucuses
  • April 25, 1984: Utah Democratic caucuses
  • May 1, 1984: Tennessee primary
  • May 5, 1984: Colorado Democratic caucuses, Louisiana primary, Texas Democratic caucuses
  • May 8, 1984: Indiana primary, Maryland primary, North Carolina primary, Ohio primary
  • May 15, 1984: Nebraska primary, Oregon primary
  • May 24, 1984: Idaho primary and Democratic caucuses (primary was a beauty contest with no delegates at stake; delegates were allocated through the caucuses)
  • June 1984: Hart insults New Jersey losing the primary in June although he had lead in the polls by 15% points, could not sweep Super Tuesday in June, could gain super delegate support to win the nomination
  • June 5, 1984: California primary, Mississippi primary (Republicans only), Montana primary (Republicans only), New Jersey primary, New Mexico primary, South Dakota primary, West Virginia primary
  • July 1, 1984: Independent Alliance Party Campaign nominates Dennis L. Serrett for President.
  • July 1, 1984: Workers’ World Party Campaign nominates Larry Holmes for President.
  • July 1, 1984: National Unity Campaign nominates John B. Anderson for President.
  • July 1, 1984: Socialist Workers Party Campaign nominates Melvin T. “Mel” Mason for President.
  • July 1, 1984: Workers’ League Party Campaign nominee Edward Winn for President.
  • July 16-19, 1984: Democratic National Convention convenes at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, California. Martha Layne Collins (Kentucky) serves as chairperson. The convention nominates on the 1st ballot, Walter Mondale (Minnesota) for President, and Geraldine A. Ferraro (New York) for Vice President. Mondale clinches the nomination on the first ballot and chooses New York congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, Ferraro is the first woman nominated to a major party ticket.
  • July 19, 1984: Walter Mondale gives an address accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.
  • August 12, 1984: Citizen’s Party Convention nominates Sonia Johnson for President.
  • August 19, 1984: Populist Party Convention nominates Bob Richards for President.
  • August 1984: Reagan appears bewildered when asked about control by a reporter, First Lady Nancy Reagan, whispers a response that Reagan used “Doing everything we can.”
  • August 20-23, 1984: Republican National Convention convenes in Reunion Arena, Dallas nominates on the 1st ballot, Ronald W. Reagan (California), George H. W. Bush (Texas) Only time the presidential and vice presidential roll call are taken concurrently. Last time the Vice Presidential candidate of either major party is nominated by roll call vote.
  • August 23, 1984: Ronald Reagan gives remarks accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas.
  • August 26, 1984: Peace & Freedom Party Convention nominates Sonia Johnson for President.
  • Reagan Energetic and busy campaign schedule and schedule of Presidential duties at home and abroad; foreign trips to London, and “so-called Communist China”
  • August 27, 1984: “President Reagan is willing to debate Walter F. Mondale ”on reasonable terms at a reasonable time” the White House says, but will not accept the Democrat’s challenge to a series of six. Mr. Mondale formally sought six debates in a telegram Friday.”
  • September 21, 1984: “Congress and Reagan work out a compromise on the MX missile.”
  • October 7, 1984: Presidential Debate in Louisville, Kentucky:” Reagan falters; not as sharp on the first debate, hesitated and rambled during his concluding remarks prompting the Wall Street Journal runs the headline “IS OLDEST U.S. PRESIDENT NOW SHOWING HIS AGE? Reagan DEBATE PERFORMANCE INVITES OPEN SPECULATION ON HIS ABILITY TO SERVE.”
  • October 10, 1984: “Walter F. Mondale challenges President Reagan late today to pledge his full commitment to Social Security and Medicare and said Mr. Reagan had failed to keep promises four years ago to continue the programs intact.”
  • October 11, 1984: Vice-Presidential Debate in Philadelphia
  • October 16, 1984: “Reagan Leads Mondale 53%-44% in Harris Poll”
  • October 21, 1984: Presidential Debate in Kansas City, Missouri; Reagan rebounds on second debate, and dismisses the age issue; “I will not make age an issue of this campaign, I’m not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
  • Mondale tries to make of issue of Reagan’s support of prayer in public schools, and the separation of church and state, but it did not hold.
  • Mondale made an issue of the growing deficit and proposed tax increases, a position that backfired and proved unpopular with voters; Contrasts with Reagan’s solution of cutting spending across the board except for defense.
  • October 29, 1984: “Reagan Leads Mondale In Three Opinion Polls”
  • November 6, 1984: Election Day, Republicans Ronald Reagan is reelected President and George H. W. Bush is reelected Vice President.
  • December 17, 1984: The Presidential Electors cast the electoral vote in their state capitols
  • January 7, 1985: Congress assembles in joint session to count the electoral votes.
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