1984 United States presidential election in Idaho

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United States presidential election in Idaho, 1984

← 1980 November 6, 1984 1988 →
  Ronald Reagan presidential portrait crop.jpg Vice President Mondale 1977 closeup.jpg
Nominee Ronald Reagan Walter Mondale
Party Republican Democratic
Home state California Minnesota
Running mate George H.W. Bush Geraldine Ferraro
Electoral vote 4 0
Popular vote 297,523 108,510
Percentage 72.36% 26.39%

ID1984.jpg
County Results

Reagan

  50–60%
  60–70%
  70–80%
  80–90%
  90–100%

President before election

Ronald Reagan
Republican

Elected President

Ronald Reagan
Republican

The 1984 United States presidential election in Idaho took place on November 6, 1984. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1984 United States presidential election. Idaho voters chose 4 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president of the United States.

Idaho was won by incumbent United States President Ronald Reagan of California, who was running against former Vice President Walter Mondale of Minnesota. Reagan ran for a second time with incumbent Vice President and former C.I.A. Director George H. W. Bush of Texas, and Mondale ran with Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York, the first major female candidate for the vice presidency.

Partisan background[edit]

The presidential election of 1984 was a very partisan election for Idaho, with just under 99% of the electorate voting for either the Democratic or Republican parties, and only four parties appearing on the ballot.[1] Every county in Idaho voted in majority for Reagan, a particularly strong turn out even in this typically conservative leaning state, and in Madison County Mondale received a mere 6.60 percent of the vote, by over one third the smallest he received in any county nationwide.[2] The Republican turnout is softest in the middle Northern part of the State, but is ubiquitous.

Idaho weighed in for this election as 27.75 percentage points more Republican than the national average and with 72.36% of the popular vote, made it Reagan's second strongest state after neighboring Utah.[3]

Democratic platform[edit]

Walter Mondale accepted the Democratic nomination for presidency after pulling narrowly ahead of Senator Gary Hart of Colorado and Rev. Jesse Jackson of Illinois - his main contenders during what would be a very contentious[4] Democratic primary. During the campaign, Mondale was vocal about reduction of government spending, and, in particular, was vocal against heightened military spending on the nuclear arms race against the Soviet Union,[5] which was reaching its peak on both sides in the early 1980s.

Taking a (what was becoming the traditional liberal) stance on the social issues of the day, Mondale advocated for gun control, the right to choose regarding abortion, and strongly opposed the repeal of laws regarding institutionalized prayer in public schools. He also criticized Reagan for his economic marginalization of the poor, stating that Reagan's reelection campaign was "a happy talk campaign," not focused on the real issues at hand.[6]

A very significant political move during this election: the Democratic Party nominated Representative Geraldine Ferraro to run with Mondale as Vice-President. Ferraro is the first female candidate to receive such a nomination in United States history. She said in an interview at the 1984 Democratic National Convention that this action "opened a door which will never be closed again,"[7] speaking to the role of women in politics.

Republican platform[edit]

Reagan challenging Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!," from the Brandenburg Gate in June, 1987. Reagan's firm stance with the Soviet Union was an important contributor to his 1984 reelection.

By 1984, Reagan was very popular with voters across the nation as the President who saw them out of the economic stagflation of the early and middle 1970's, and into a period of (relative) economic stability.[8]

The economic success seen under Reagan was politically accomplished (principally) in two ways. The first was initiation of deep tax cuts for the wealthy,[9] and the second was a wide-spectrum of tax cuts for crude oil production and refinement, namely, with the 1980 Windfall profits tax cuts.[10] These policies were augmented with a call for heightened military spending,[11] the cutting of social welfare programs for the poor,[12] and the increasing of taxes on those making less than $50,000 per year.[9] Collectively called "Reaganomics", these economic policies were established through several pieces of legislation passed between 1980 and 1987.

Some of these new policies also arguably curbed several existing tax loopholes, preferences, and exceptions, but Reaganomics is typically remembered for its trickle down effect of taxing poor Americans more than rich ones. Reaganomics has (along with legislation passed under presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton) been criticized by many analysts as "setting the stage" for economic troubles in the United State after 2007, such as the Great Recession.[13]

Virtually unopposed during the Republican primaries, Reagan ran on a campaign of furthering his economic policies. Reagan vowed to continue his "war on drugs," passing sweeping legislation after the 1984 election in support of mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession.[14] Furthermore, taking a (what was becoming the traditional conservative) stance on the social issues of the day, Reagan strongly opposed legislation regarding comprehension of gay marriage, abortion, and (to a lesser extent) environmentalism,[15] regarding the final as simply being bad for business.

Republican victory[edit]

Reagan won the election in Idaho with a resounding 46 point sweep-out landslide. While Idaho is typically conservative leaning, these are some of the largest margins found in the State's electoral history. The election results in Idaho are also reflective of a nationwide reconsolidation of base for the Republican Party which took place through the 1980s; called by Reagan the "second American Revolution."[8] This was most evident during the 1984 presidential election. No Republican candidate has received as strong of support in the American West at large, as Reagan did.

It is speculated that Mondale lost support with voters nearly immediately during the campaign, namely during his acceptance speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. There he stated that he intended to increase taxes. To quote Mondale, "By the end of my first term, I will reduce the Reagan budget deficit by two thirds. Let's tell the truth. It must be done, it must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did."[6] Despite this claimed attempt at establishing truthfulness with the electorate, this claim to raise taxes badly eroded his chances in what had already begun as an uphill battle against the charismatic Ronald Reagan.

Reagan also enjoyed high levels of bipartisan support during the 1984 presidential election, both in Idaho, and across the nation at large. Many registered Democrats who voted for Reagan (Reagan Democrats) stated that they had chosen to do so because they associated him with the economic recovery, because of his strong stance on national security issues with Russia, and because they considered the Democrats as "supporting American poor and minorities at the expense of the middle class."[15] These public opinion factors contributed to Reagan's 1984 landslide victory, in Idaho and elsewhere.

This election is the most recent in which every county in Idaho went for one candidate.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Idaho, 1984
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Ronald Reagan 297,523 72.36% 4
Democratic Walter Mondale 108,510 26.39% 0
Libertarian David Bergland 2,823 0.69% 0
America First Bob Richards 2,288 0.56% 0
Totals 411,144 100.00% 4

Results by county[edit]

Ronald Wilson Reagan
Republican
Walter Mondale
Democratic
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast
County # % # % # % # % #
Ada 60,036 72.40% 21,760 26.24% 1,128 1.36% 38,276 46.16% 82,924
Adams 1,381 70.60% 540 27.61% 35 1.79% 841 43.00% 1,956
Bannock 18,742 65.77% 9,399 32.98% 355 1.25% 9,343 32.79% 28,496
Bear Lake 2,760 84.48% 481 14.72% 26 0.80% 2,279 69.76% 3,267
Benewah 2,039 57.70% 1,447 40.95% 48 1.36% 592 16.75% 3,534
Bingham 11,900 78.72% 3,064 20.27% 152 1.01% 8,836 58.45% 15,116
Blaine 3,603 63.69% 1,971 34.84% 83 1.47% 1,632 28.85% 5,657
Boise 1,249 72.57% 436 25.33% 36 2.09% 813 47.24% 1,721
Bonner 6,889 58.89% 4,628 39.56% 182 1.56% 2,261 19.33% 11,699
Bonneville 24,392 82.71% 4,877 16.54% 221 0.75% 19,515 66.17% 29,490
Boundary 2,159 63.46% 1,158 34.04% 85 2.50% 1,001 29.42% 3,402
Butte 1,245 73.89% 429 25.46% 11 0.65% 816 48.43% 1,685
Camas 364 74.13% 123 25.05% 4 0.81% 241 49.08% 491
Canyon 24,613 75.53% 7,527 23.10% 447 1.37% 17,086 52.43% 32,587
Caribou 3,032 84.29% 535 14.87% 30 0.83% 2,497 69.42% 3,597
Cassia 6,503 85.60% 1,036 13.64% 58 0.76% 5,467 71.96% 7,597
Clark 353 85.06% 59 14.22% 3 0.72% 294 70.84% 415
Clearwater 2,176 56.55% 1,608 41.79% 64 1.66% 568 14.76% 3,848
Custer 1,653 77.10% 461 21.50% 30 1.40% 1,192 55.60% 2,144
Elmore 4,595 75.27% 1,458 23.88% 52 0.85% 3,137 51.38% 6,105
Franklin 3,261 87.15% 439 11.73% 42 1.12% 2,822 75.41% 3,742
Fremont 4,006 82.55% 818 16.86% 29 0.60% 3,188 65.69% 4,853
Gem 3,644 68.11% 1,607 30.04% 99 1.85% 2,037 38.07% 5,350
Gooding 3,819 74.60% 1,247 24.36% 53 1.04% 2,572 50.24% 5,119
Idaho 4,219 66.45% 1,996 31.44% 134 2.11% 2,223 35.01% 6,349
Jefferson 5,770 87.92% 743 11.32% 50 0.76% 5,027 76.60% 6,563
Jerome 4,913 78.49% 1,284 20.51% 62 0.99% 3,629 57.98% 6,259
Kootenai 17,330 64.93% 9,004 33.74% 355 1.33% 8,326 31.20% 26,689
Latah 7,709 57.10% 5,571 41.27% 220 1.63% 2,138 15.84% 13,500
Lemhi 2,810 75.78% 852 22.98% 46 1.24% 1,958 52.80% 3,708
Lewis 1,000 60.02% 648 38.90% 18 1.08% 352 21.13% 1,666
Lincoln 1,211 74.98% 386 23.90% 18 1.11% 825 51.08% 1,615
Madison 6,798 92.88% 483 6.60% 38 0.52% 6,315 86.28% 7,319
Minidoka 5,938 80.03% 1,398 18.84% 84 1.13% 4,540 61.19% 7,420
Nez Perce 8,153 56.89% 5,981 41.74% 196 1.37% 2,172 15.16% 14,330
Oneida 1,528 80.51% 360 18.97% 10 0.53% 1,168 61.54% 1,898
Owyhee 2,141 77.71% 574 20.83% 40 1.45% 1,567 56.88% 2,755
Payette 4,605 75.23% 1,410 23.04% 106 1.73% 3,195 52.20% 6,121
Power 2,298 76.50% 678 22.57% 28 0.93% 1,620 53.93% 3,004
Shoshone 3,156 50.22% 3,033 48.27% 95 1.51% 123 1.96% 6,284
Teton 1,242 76.48% 370 22.78% 12 0.74% 872 53.69% 1,624
Twin Falls 16,974 77.97% 4,567 20.98% 230 1.06% 12,407 56.99% 21,771
Valley 2,299 69.96% 945 28.76% 42 1.28% 1,354 41.21% 3,286
Washington 3,015 71.99% 1,119 26.72% 54 1.29% 1,896 45.27% 4,188
Totals 297,523 72.36% 108,510 26.39% 5,111 1.24% 189,013 45.97% 411,144

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1984 Presidential General Election Results – Idaho". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  2. ^ "1984 Presidential General Election Statistics". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  3. ^ "1984 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  4. ^ Kurt Andersen, "A Wild Ride to the End", Time, May 28, 1984
  5. ^ Trying to Win the Peace, by Even Thomas, Time, July 2, 1984
  6. ^ a b Mondale's Acceptance Speech, 1984, AllPolitics
  7. ^ Martin, Douglas (2011-03-27). "Geraldine A. Ferraro, First Woman on Major Party Ticket, Dies at 75". The New York Times. pp. A1. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Raines, Howell (November 7, 1984). "Reagan Wins By a Landslide, Sweeping at Least 48 States; G.O.P. Gains Strength in House". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "U.S. Federal Individual Income Tax Rates History, 1913–2011 (Nominal and Inflation-Adjusted Brackets)". Tax Foundation. September 9, 2011. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  10. ^ Joseph J. Thorndike (Nov 10, 2005). "Historical Perspective: The Windfall Profit Tax". Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  11. ^ Historical tables, Budget of the United States Government Archived 2012-04-17 at the Wayback Machine, 2013, table 6.1.
  12. ^ Niskanen, William A. (1992). "Reaganomics". In David R. Henderson (ed.). Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (1st ed.). Library of Economics and Liberty. OCLC 317650570, 50016270, 163149563
  13. ^ Jerry Lanson (2008-11-06). "A historic victory. A changed nation. Now, can Obama deliver?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  14. ^ Alexander, Michelle (2010). The New Jim Crow. New York: The New Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-1595581037.
  15. ^ a b Prendergast, William B. (1999). The Catholic vote in American politics. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press. pp. 186, 191–193. ISBN 0-87840-724-3.