From what I stated earlier 1980 was no mandate for Ronald Reagen. This is really true considering the two wildcards-the October Surprise and the Third Party Candidacy of John Anderson. A reasonable scenario is a close race going either way had these events not occurred. I voted voted for John Anderson even while knowing that he was indirectly helping Ronald Reagen. He addressed issues that both candidates ignored. The Americans for Democratic Action and some people in the Ripon Society endorsed him. Both Carter and Reagen used faith based arguments which have no place in political discussions. No one can refute or prove them. To be blunt, they represent an easy way out. Now let’s look at after 1980.
1982-The Democrats gained 26 seats in the House almost recouping the losses they sustained two years earlier. The Senate stayed Republican
1984-This was the first actual mandate Reagen received with 49 states and 59% of the popular vote. Walter Mondale was far too tentative and came across as a prophet of doom. I believe history proved Mondale right but no one wants to hear bad news. The Democrats gained two seats on the Senate going from 45 to 47.
After the election, Four Republican Senators sent a letter with a photograph of all of them. There were three from New England and one from the Far West; Bob Stafford of Vermont, Lowell Weicker from Connecticut, John Chafee of Rhode Island, and Mark Hatfield from Oregon. To quickly summarize the message said that Without Us There is no Republican Majority.
1986-The Democrats gained six seats in the Senate making them a majority in both houses. This election, together with Iran Contra Affair, clipped Reagen severely in his last two years in office. To the group of four Senators I mentioned in 1984, add William Cohen of Maine and Warren Rudman of New Hampshire. Both of them refused to sign the Minority Report on the Iran Contra Affair claiming claiming it was both a disgrace and a whitewash. The six Senators assailed Ronald Reagen more than most Democrats.
1988-In a clear approval of Ronald Reagen, George Bush won the Presidential Election with 40 states and 54% of the Popular Vote. Democrat Micheal Dukasis did do much better than Carter or Mondale; MD got 11 states with 45% of the popular vote. The Democratic loss here was quite similar to the Republican fate in 1940. In that year, Franklin Roosevelt won a third term with 38 states and 55% of the popular vote. Here are the 1936 and 1940 election results.
FDR won 1n 1936-48 states and 60% of the Popular Vote
FDR won in 1940-38 states and 55% of the Popular Vote
Alfred M Landon lost in 1936-2 states and 40% of the Popular Vote
Wendell Wilkie lost in 1940-10 states and 45% of the Popular Vote
1980, 1982, and 1986 were not in Reagen’s favor
1984 and 1988 were.