Draw me some reasons why Jimmy Carter would be unpopular during the election of 1980?
1933-45: FDR (D) 1945-53: Truman (D) 1953-61: Eisenhower (R) 1961-63: JFK (D) 1963-69: LBJ (D) 1969-74: Nixon (R) 1974-76: Ford (R) 1977-81: Carter (D) 1933-81 Republicans only held the presidency for 16/48 years
Recent political history
What does it mean to be a Conservative?
Believed in limited government intervention to improve the economy Firm foreign policy (rely on own military strength not negotiation) "Restore traditional Christian values" Reduce size of government (focus on individual) Cut social spending (Great Society programs) Cut taxes (primarily for upper class Americans) Affirmative Action=reverse discrimination Restore American patriotism (Malaise speech)
Republican Platform 1980 (The New Right)
Music, drugs, protests Sexual Revolution Women's Movement Evangelical groups reached out to Americans that usually did not participate in politics Disliked ERA, bussing, abortion rights, homosexuality Gave out "Report Cards" on candidates (favored conservatives)
Moral Panic? The Moral Majority comes out in force
Born in Illinois, 1911, experienced Great Depression Became an actor, was in B movies (low budget movies) Was a Democrat until the 50s Became California governor in 1966 (R) Nearly got the Republican nomination in 1976
Who was Reagan?
What does it mean to be a liberal?
Favored government intervention to solve economic problems Wanted stronger well funded social programs Higher taxes Believed in government regulation of American industry In favor of laws that protected the rights of minority groups + women Generally favored international diplomacy over direct confrontation with communist nations
Why would some of these liberal policies be unpopular by 1980?
Democratic party more of a mess Vietnam + riots (60s+70s) Counterculture alienated many Americans Watergate, oil crisis, Iran hostage crisis = weakened public trust in a strong federal gov Economic stagnation of the 70s (stagflation) Demographic shift (big cities to suburbs + Rust belt to Sunbelt migration) South became firmly Republican (Civil Rights)
Liberalism loses ground
Race was between Ronald Reagan and President Carter "Are you better off than four years ago?" Reagan criticized Carter for the economy + hostage crisis Close race until the first and only presidential debate Reagan showed off his public speaking "Great Communicator"
There were 84.7 million votes cast in 1980... how many do you think Reagan got?
Electoral Map 1980, 489-Reagan, 49-Carter
Reagan got 43.6 million votes (50.6% popular vote) Carter got 35.4 million votes (41.2% popular vote) 3rd party independent got 5.7 million votes (6.6% popular vote) However Reagan won electorally by 90.9% A large aspect of Reagan's victory was a group called Reagan Democrats These were registered Democrats from all over the US, usually moderate voters that lean conservative on some issues Generally blue collar workers
1984 Election-49/50 states for Reagan (58.8% pv)