1984 United States presidential election in Nebraska

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United States presidential election in Nebraska, 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 5 0
Popular vote 460,054 187,866
Percentage 70.55% 28.81%

NE1984(2).jpg
County Results
  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 Nebraska took place on November 6, 1984. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1984 United States presidential election. Nebraska voters chose 5 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president of the United States.

Nebraska 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 Nebraska, with over 99% of the electorate voting for either the Democratic or Republican parties, and only five parties formally appearing on the ballot.[1] Every county in Nebraska voted in majority for the Republican candidate, a particularly strong turn out even in this typically conservative leaning state. This included the Democratic stronghold of Saline County.

Nebraska weighed in for this election as 12% more Republican than the national average and with 70.55% of the popular vote, proved to be Reagan's third strongest state in the 1984 election after Utah and Idaho.[2]

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[3] Democratic primary. During the primary 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,[4] 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 what he charged was 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.[5]

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,"[6] 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.[7]

The economic success seen under Reagan was politically accomplished (principally) in two ways. The first was initiation of deep tax cuts for the wealthy,[8] and the second was a wide-spectrum of tax cuts for crude oil production and refinement, namely, with the 1980 Windfall profits tax cuts.[9] These policies were augmented with a call for heightened military spending,[10] the cutting of social welfare programs for the poor,[11] and the increasing of taxes on those making less than $50,000 per year.[8] 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. 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.[12]

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.[13] 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,[14] regarding the final as simply being bad for business.

Republican victory[edit]

Reagan won the election in Nebraska with a resounding 42 point sweep-out landslide. While Nebraska typically votes conservative, the election results in Nebraska 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."[7] This was most evident during the 1984 presidential election. Nebraska continued its age-old trend of voting in par with is sister Great Plains States (North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas), a trend that has not been broken in any presidential election since 1920.

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."[5] 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 Nebraska, 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."[14] These public opinion factors contributed to Reagan's 1984 landslide victory, in Nebraska and elsewhere.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Nebraska, 1984
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Ronald Reagan 460,054 70.55% 5
Democratic Walter Mondale 187,866 28.81% 0
Libertarian David Bergland 2,079 0.32% 0
Socialist Workers Party Melvin Mason 1,066 0.16% 0
New Alliance Party Dennis Serrette 1,025 0.16% 0
Totals 652,090 100.0% 5

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  2. ^ "1984 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  3. ^ Kurt Andersen, "A Wild Ride to the End", Time, May 28, 1984
  4. ^ Trying to Win the Peace, by Even Thomas, Time, July 2, 1984
  5. ^ a b Mondale's Acceptance Speech, 1984, AllPolitics
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Joseph J. Thorndike (Nov 10, 2005). "Historical Perspective: The Windfall Profit Tax". Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  10. ^ Historical tables, Budget of the United States Government Archived 2012-04-17 at the Wayback Machine, 2013, table 6.1.
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Jerry Lanson (2008-11-06). "A historic victory. A changed nation. Now, can Obama deliver?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  13. ^ Alexander, Michelle (2010). The New Jim Crow. New York: The New Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-1595581037.
  14. ^ 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.