United States presidential election in Florida, 1984

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United States presidential election in Florida, 1984

← 1980 November 6, 1984 1988 →
TurnoutDecrease75%
  President Reagan 1985 closeup.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 21 0
Popular vote 2,730,350 1,448,816
Percentage 65.32% 34.66%

FL1984.jpg
County Results
  Mondale—50-60%
  Reagan—50-60%
  Reagan—60-70%
  Reagan—70-80%
  Reagan—80-90%

President before election

Ronald Reagan
Republican

Elected President

Ronald Reagan
Republican

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

Florida 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 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 Florida, with nearly one hundred percent of the electorate voting either Democratic or Republican, with only those two parties appearing on the presidential ballot in Florida.[1] Almost every county in Florida voted in majority for the Republican candidate, a particularly strong turn out even in this typically conservative-leaning state. The one exception was Gadsden County, a regular African-American majority Democratic stronghold in Northern Florida.

In this election, Florida voted 7 percent more Republican than the national average.

Democratic platform[edit]

On the campaign trail, Walter Mondale and Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro wave to supporters at a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. April, 1984.

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[2] 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,[3] 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.[4]

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,"[5] speaking to the role of women in politics.

Republican platform[edit]

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.[6]

The economic success seen under Reagan was politically accomplished (principally) in two ways. The first was initiation of deep tax cuts for the wealthy,[7] and the second was a wide-spectrum of tax cuts for crude oil production and refinement, namely, with the 1980 Windfall profits tax cuts.[8] These policies were augmented with a call for heightened military spending,[9] the cutting of social welfare programs for the poor,[10] and the increasing of taxes on those making less than $50,000 per year.[7] Collectively called "Reaganomics", these economic policies were established through several pieces of legislation passed between 1980 and 1987.

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.[11] 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,[12] regarding the final as simply being bad for business.

Republican victory[edit]

Reagan won the election in Florida with a resounding 31 point sweep-out landslide. While Florida typically voted conservative at the time, the election results in Florida 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."[6] This was most evident during the 1984 presidential election. Hardly then the swing state we now consider it, Florida produced Reagan's best numbers in the Deep South.

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."[4] Despite this claimed attempt at establishing truthfulness with the electorate, this promise 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 Florida, 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."[12] These public opinion factors contributed to Reagan's 1984 landslide victory, in Florida and elsewhere.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Florida, 1984
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Ronald Reagan 2,730,350 65.32% 21
Democratic Walter Mondale 1,448,816 34.66% 0
Libertarian David Bergland (write-in) 754 0.02% 0
Other write-ins 141 >0.01% 0
Totals 4,180,051 100.0% 21

Results by county[edit]

Ronald Wilson Reagan
Republican
Walter Frederick Mondale
Democratic
Various candidates
Write-ins
Margin Total votes cast
County # % # % # % # % #
Alachua 30,609 53.46% 26,584 46.43% 60 0.10% 4,025 7.03% 57,253
Baker 3,485 71.62% 1,381 28.38% 2,104 43.24% 4,866
Bay 29,356 75.77% 9,384 24.22% 4 0.01% 19,972 51.55% 38,744
Bradford 4,130 63.82% 2,341 36.18% 1,789 27.65% 6,471
Brevard 102,477 73.45% 36,985 26.51% 49 0.04% 65,492 46.94% 139,511
Broward 254,608 56.68% 194,584 43.32% 34 0.01% 60,024 13.36% 449,226
Calhoun 2,493 65.48% 1,312 34.46% 2 0.05% 1,181 31.02% 3,807
Charlotte 27,486 70.85% 11,305 29.14% 2 0.01% 16,181 41.71% 38,793
Citrus 20,764 66.47% 10,468 33.51% 4 0.01% 10,296 32.96% 31,236
Clay 21,571 79.72% 5,489 20.28% 16,082 59.43% 27,060
Collier 33,619 78.75% 9,067 21.24% 5 0.01% 24,552 57.51% 42,691
Columbia 8,814 67.41% 4,261 32.59% 4,553 34.82% 13,075
Dade 324,414 59.17% 223,863 40.83% 35 0.01% 100,551 18.34% 548,312
DeSoto 4,822 67.64% 2,304 32.32% 3 0.04% 2,518 35.32% 7,129
Dixie 2,204 64.29% 1,224 35.71% 980 28.59% 3,428
Duval 128,724 62.41% 77,488 37.57% 37 0.02% 51,236 24.84% 206,249
Escambia 66,715 71.32% 26,812 28.66% 22 0.02% 39,903 42.65% 93,549
Flagler 4,913 62.08% 3,000 37.91% 1 0.01% 1,913 24.17% 7,914
Franklin 2,218 67.05% 1,090 32.95% 1,128 34.10% 3,308
Gadsden 5,807 43.95% 7,403 56.03% 2 0.02% -1,596 -12.08% 13,212
Gilchrist 2,056 66.15% 1,051 33.82% 1 0.03% 1,005 32.34% 3,108
Glades 1,987 65.00% 1,070 35.00% 917 30.00% 3,057
Gulf 3,573 66.70% 1,784 33.30% 1,789 33.40% 5,357
Hamilton 1,921 57.83% 1,401 42.17% 520 15.65% 3,322
Hardee 3,962 72.06% 1,536 27.94% 2,426 44.13% 5,498
Hendry 4,524 69.15% 2,018 30.85% 2,506 38.31% 6,542
Hernando 21,279 63.54% 12,204 36.44% 4 0.01% 9,075 27.10% 33,487
Highlands 16,474 69.53% 7,217 30.46% 3 0.01% 9,257 39.07% 23,694
Hillsborough 157,926 64.67% 86,230 35.31% 52 0.02% 71,696 29.36% 244,208
Holmes 4,548 78.70% 1,231 21.30% 3,317 57.40% 5,779
Indian River 23,716 73.08% 8,736 26.92% 14,980 46.16% 32,452
Jackson 9,091 64.70% 4,960 35.30% 4,131 29.40% 14,051
Jefferson 2,244 52.16% 2,057 47.81% 1 0.02% 187 4.35% 4,302
Lafayette 1,513 63.71% 862 36.29% 651 27.41% 2,375
Lake 35,319 74.29% 12,217 25.70% 7 0.01% 23,102 48.59% 47,543
Lee 85,024 73.89% 30,022 26.09% 30 0.03% 55,002 47.80% 115,076
Leon 36,325 55.00% 29,683 44.94% 38 0.06% 6,642 10.06% 66,046
Levy 5,561 64.19% 3,103 35.81% 2,458 28.37% 8,664
Liberty 1,410 68.45% 650 31.55% 760 36.89% 2,060
Madison 2,819 57.30% 2,101 42.70% 718 14.59% 4,920
Manatee 55,793 72.75% 20,889 27.24% 6 0.01% 34,904 45.51% 76,688
Marion 37,815 69.97% 16,225 30.02% 6 0.01% 21,590 39.95% 54,046
Martin 28,900 76.28% 8,978 23.70% 9 0.02% 19,922 52.58% 37,887
Monroe 16,332 67.73% 7,774 32.24% 9 0.04% 8,558 35.49% 24,115
Nassau 8,039 69.76% 3,484 30.23% 1 0.01% 4,555 39.53% 11,524
Okaloosa 37,044 83.51% 7,304 16.47% 9 0.02% 29,740 67.05% 44,357
Okeechobee 4,449 66.65% 2,226 33.35% 2,223 33.30% 6,675
Orange 122,068 71.39% 48,752 28.51% 165 0.10% 73,316 42.88% 170,985
Osceola 18,348 73.45% 6,628 26.53% 4 0.02% 11,720 46.92% 24,980
Palm Beach 186,811 61.67% 116,091 38.32% 29 0.01% 70,720 23.35% 302,931
Pasco 66,618 61.92% 40,962 38.07% 8 0.01% 25,656 23.85% 107,588
Pinellas 240,612 65.16% 128,574 34.82% 63 0.02% 112,038 30.34% 369,249
Polk 84,246 70.33% 35,516 29.65% 22 0.02% 48,730 40.68% 119,784
Putnam 11,435 59.37% 7,823 40.61% 4 0.02% 3,612 18.75% 19,262
St. Johns 16,500 71.26% 6,652 28.73% 2 0.01% 9,848 42.53% 23,154
St. Lucie 28,200 68.37% 13,040 31.61% 7 0.02% 15,160 36.75% 41,247
Santa Rosa 21,265 82.04% 4,649 17.94% 6 0.02% 16,616 64.10% 25,920
Sarasota 87,771 74.15% 30,525 25.79% 69 0.06% 57,246 48.36% 118,365
Seminole 56,244 75.91% 17,795 24.02% 53 0.07% 38,449 51.89% 74,092
Sumter 6,255 64.37% 3,461 35.62% 1 0.01% 2,794 28.75% 9,717
Suwannee 6,082 68.57% 2,788 31.43% 3,294 37.14% 8,870
Taylor 4,038 69.98% 1,732 30.02% 2,306 39.97% 5,770
Union 1,804 70.28% 761 29.65% 2 0.08% 1,043 40.63% 2,567
Volusia 68,358 60.93% 43,820 39.06% 13 0.01% 24,538 21.87% 112,191
Wakulla 3,088 67.75% 1,470 32.25% 1,618 35.50% 4,558
Walton 7,126 74.01% 2,503 25.99% 4,623 48.01% 9,629
Washington 4,608 70.62% 1,916 29.36% 1 0.02% 2,692 41.26% 6,525
Totals 2,730,350 65.32% 1,448,816 34.66% 885 0.02% 1,281,534 30.66% 4,180,051

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1984 Presidential General Election Results – Florida". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  2. ^ Kurt Andersen, "A Wild Ride to the End", Time, May 28, 1984
  3. ^ Trying to Win the Peace, by Even Thomas, Time, July 2, 1984
  4. ^ a b Mondale's Acceptance Speech, 1984, AllPolitics
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Joseph J. Thorndike (Nov 10, 2005). "Historical Perspective: The Windfall Profit Tax". Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  9. ^ Historical tables, Budget of the United States Government Archived 2012-04-17 at the Wayback Machine., 2013, table 6.1.
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ Alexander, Michelle (2010). The New Jim Crow. New York: The New Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-1595581037.
  12. ^ 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.