30 May 2012

November 4 1980: America Elects Ronald Reagan President

This was the election which set the 1980s on their course to becoming what we all remember them being..

From the Daily Mirror, 5/11/1980:

Heavy polling was reported last night in America's presidential election as President Carter sweated out what was probably his longest day.

The size of the voting was likely to benefit Carter. But the latest opinion polls showed him still trailing Republican candidate Ronald Reagan.

One last minute poll showed Reagan five points ahead - enough to give him a comfortable victory - while the President's own pollster put Carter at least one point behind.

The Democrat was pinning his hopes on a last-minute swing resulting from hopes for the release of the hostages in Iran.

Carter was close to tears and exhaustion after casting his own vote at his home town of Plains, Georgia. His voice cracked and his eyes watered as he told a crowd: "I am ready to abide by your judgement. I have tried to honour my commitment to you."

He was cheered by news of the heavy polling which meant that many Democrats who were expected to stay at home were voting after all.

Reagan was looking slightly worried as he voted near his California ranch.

"Let's just say I've got my fingers crossed," he said.

From the Daily Mirror, 6/11/1980:

Former cowboy actor Ronald Reagan was riding high with his top aides last night after his sensational Presidential election victory...

The staggering lurch to the right was reflected in the elections for Congress.

Liberal Congressmen were thrown out in seat after seat in the wake of the electoral massacre of President Jimmy Carter...

Reagan stayed at his California ranch yesterday, preparing his Whitehouse takeover on January 20th.

This is just before his 70th birthday, making him the oldest man ever to win the Presidency.

It gives his Vice-President, 56-year-old former CIA chief George Bush, the chance of succeeding to the top job if Reagan fails to last the four-year course because of death or illness.

Reagan will arrive in Washington soon to meet the beaten Carter, who has promised to do his best to ease him into the job.

Victory for the Republicans came after 12 years of trying to get the Presidency.

He told ecstatic supporters at a victory rally yesterday: "I give you my sacred oath I will do my utmost to justify your faith."

EUREKA '80! The Sunday Times Magazine - the year in pictures, December, 1980.

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