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United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1980

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Title: United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1980  
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Subject: United States presidential election, 1980, Massachusetts general election, 1960, Massachusetts general election, 1962, Massachusetts general election, 1964, Massachusetts general election, 1966
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United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1980

United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1980

November 4, 1980

Nominee Ronald Reagan Jimmy Carter John B. Anderson
Party Republican Democratic Independent
Home state California Georgia Illinois
Running mate George H. W. Bush Walter Mondale Patrick Lucey
Electoral vote 14 0 0
Popular vote 1,057,631 1,053,802 382,539
Percentage 41.90% 41.75% 15.15%

County Results

President before election

Jimmy Carter

Elected President

Ronald Reagan

The 1980 United States presidential election in Massachusetts took place on November 4, 1980 as part of the 1980 United States presidential election, which was held throughout all 50 states and D.C. Voters chose 14 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

Independent candidate Congressman John B. Anderson of Illinois.

On election day, Reagan won a plurality of 41.90% of the vote in the state to Carter's 41.75%, with Anderson in third at 15.15%, giving Reagan a razor-thin margin of 0.15%.

With President Carter a greatly weakened incumbent by 1980, Reagan won a comfortable election victory nationwide.

However, Massachusetts had been a Democratic-leaning state since Richard Nixon in his 49-state landslide. Thus Reagan's victory made 1980 the first time a Republican had won Massachusetts' electoral votes since the landslide re-election of Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.

A major contributing factor to Reagan's win in Massachusetts was the strong third party candidacy of John Anderson, a liberal Republican Congressman who ran in 1980 as an independent after failing to win the Republican Party's own presidential nomination. Anderson proved very popular with liberal and moderate voters in New England who normally leaned Democratic but were dissatisfied with the policies of the Carter Administration and viewed Reagan as too far to the right. In 1976, Carter had won Massachusetts with 56% of the vote, however in 1980 he bled a substantial amount of this support to Anderson, allowing Reagan to eke out a narrow win with only 41.90% of the vote.

Massachusetts would ultimately prove to be John Anderson's strongest state in the nation, his 15.15% of the vote in the state more than double the 6.61% he got nationwide.

While Reagan nationally won a convincing victory in the electoral college, Massachusetts would be his narrowest win, with the state being about 10% more Democratic than the national average.


United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1980[1]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Ronald Reagan 1,057,631 41.90% 14
Democratic Jimmy Carter 1,053,802 41.75% 0
Independent John B. Anderson 382,539 15.15% 0
Libertarian Ed Clark 22,038 0.87% 0
Socialist Workers Clifton DeBerry 3,735 0.15% 0
Citizens (Write-in) Barry Commoner (Write-in) 2,056 0.08% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 2,497 0.09% 0
Totals 2,524,298 100.00% 14
Voter Turnout (Voting age/Registered) 59%/80%


  1. ^ "1980 Presidential General Election Results - Massachusetts". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 

See also

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