United States presidential election in New York, 1980

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United States presidential election in New York, 1980
New York
1976 ←
November 4, 1980
→ 1984

  Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981-cropped.jpg Carter cropped.jpg JohnAnderson.png
Nominee Ronald Reagan Jimmy Carter John B. Anderson
Party Republican Democratic Liberal
Home state California Georgia Illinois
Running mate George H. W. Bush Walter Mondale Patrick Lucey
Electoral vote 41 0 0
Popular vote 2,893,831 2,728,372 467,801
Percentage 46.66% 43.99% 7.54%

New york presidential results 1980.svg

County Results

President before election

Jimmy Carter

Elected President

Ronald Reagan

President Reagan giving speech on the Centennial of the Statue of Liberty.

The 1980 United States presidential election in New York took place on November 4, 1980. All 50 states and The District of Columbia, were part of the 1980 United States presidential election. New York voters chose forty one electors to the Electoral College, which voted for President and Vice President.

New York was won by former California Governor Ronald Reagan, in a narrow victory against President of the United States Jimmy Carter, who failed to gain reelection against Reagan.[1] Also in the running was Independent candidate Congressman John B. Anderson of Illinois, who ran in New York as the Liberal Party candidate.

Reagan won the state with a plurality of 46.66% of the vote to Carter's 43.99%, a margin of 2.67%. Anderson finished in third with 7.54%.

New York's election results reflect the Republican Party's re-consolidation of base under what is popularly called the "Reagan Revolution,"[2] which sounded various overwhelming conservative electoral victories across the United States throughout the 1980s - and most evidently against the relatively unpopular President Carter during the 1980 presidential election.

New York weighed in for this election as more Democratic than the national average by about 7%.

This election is notable in that, while the highly populated regions of New York City, Buffalo, and Albany turned out for Carter, the election in the state was tipped by the majority of less-populated upstate counties, combined with heavily populated suburban counties around NYC, most of which were won by Reagan. Carter actually picked up plurality wins in 2 counties which he had lost in 1976: Monroe County, home to the city of Rochester, and Niagara County.

A major contributing factor to Reagan's victory over Carter was the relatively strong third party showing by independent candidate John B. Anderson, a former liberal Republican congressman who garnered 8% of the vote in the State- twice the 4% margin by which Carter had won New York in 1976. Running on the ballot line of New York's Liberal Party, Anderson attracted the votes of many liberals and moderates who normally leaned Democratic but were dissatisfied with the policies of the Carter Administration, thus splitting the left-leaning vote in New York State.

In the heavily populated, and very liberal, 5 boroughs of New York City, Carter still won overall, and Reagan made only modest gains in vote share over Gerald Ford's 1976 showing of 33%, taking 37% in the city in 1980. However, although still winning 4 out of 5 boroughs, Carter bled a massive amount of support in the city to Anderson, dropping from 66% in 1976 to only 55% in 1980. Since Democratic victories in New York State in that era depended on running up massive margins in New York City to overcome the rest of the state's Republican lean, the reduced margin in the city from vote-splitting would prove fatal to Carter's chances of winning the state in 1980. While Reagan only bled about 1% of Republican base support in the state (winning a plurality in a 3-way-race with 46.66% while Gerald Ford had lost the state in a two-man race with 47.52% in 1976), Carter bled nearly 8% of his 1976 support, falling from a 51.95% majority win in 1976 to a losing 43.99% in 1980, most of those lost Democratic base votes going to Anderson instead.

This remains the last election in which a Republican presidential nominee has won Tompkins County in upstate New York, home to the college town of Ithaca, where Cornell University and Ithaca College are located. Reagan narrowly won the county with a plurality of 42% to Carter's 40%, while Anderson took nearly 14%, making it Anderson's strongest county in the state. In 1984, Tompkins County would vote against Reagan and in the following years it would become the most Democratic county in upstate New York, giving Barack Obama over 70% of the vote in 2008.


United States presidential election in New York, 1980
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Ronald Reagan 2,637,700 42.53%
Conservative Ronald Reagan 256,131 4.13%
Total Ronald Reagan 2,893,831 46.66% 41
Democratic Jimmy Carter 2,728,372 43.99% 0
Liberal John B. Anderson 467,801 7.54% 0
Free Libertarian Ed Clark 52,648 0.85% 0
Right to Life Ellen McCormack 24,159 0.39% 0
Citizens Party Barry Commoner 23,186 0.37% 0
Other 11,962 0.19% 0
Totals 6,201,959 100.0% 41


  1. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2013-04-27. 
  2. ^ Jerry Lanson (2008-11-06). "A historic victory. A changed nation. Now, can Obama deliver?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2013-04-27.