In the 1984 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan ran against Democrat Walter Mondale. Mondale did not stand much of a chance. The country doing better since Reagan became president. The economy was better, and the U.S. athletes had just dominated the 1984 Olympics that were held in Los Angeles. The country was in a much better mood than when the 1980 election took place.
Mondale did not help himself when he made his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention and said, “Let’s tell the truth. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.”
One interesting move was selecting Geraldine A. Ferraro of New York as his running mate, making her the first woman nominated for that position by a major party.
Reagan was the oldest president to have ever served (he was by this point 73), and there were many questions about him being able to serve another term. And he did not have a good first debate. He referred to having started going to church “here in Washington”, although the debate was in Louisville, Kentucky, referred to military uniforms as “wardrobe,” and admitted to being “confused,” among other mistakes. However, Reagan made an amazing recovery in the next debate, and had one of the greatest quotes in debate history – “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.” Even Mondale found himslef laughing.
Reagan was re-elected on November 6, winning 49 states. Mondale was only able to win his own state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia. Even in Minnesota, he had only won by 3800, meaning Reagan came within 3800 votes of winning all fifty states.
As of 2011, the 1984 election was the last time that a Republican presidential candidate won the states of Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin.