Remember When a MN Candidate Lost the Presidential Election?
As states continue to count ballots to find a winner in this year's presidential election, do you remember when there were no questions as to who won when Minnesota's Walter Mondale ran against Ronald Reagan?
As I was watching the election returns start to trickle in Tuesday night, it became obvious once again just how close the race would be, and that each vote really DOES count. That's been a similar story in several recent presidential elections, from the race in between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton 2016 all that way back to the hotly-contested 2000 race between Al Gore and George W. Bush (which took several weeks to count all the votes and settle various court challenges.)
But, presidential races haven't always been this close. There were many election nights where we knew fairly early on which candidate was going to win without much question-- even as states in the west were still counting ballots, or in some cases, still open.
Take, for instance, the presidential election of 1984. Yes, it was 36 years ago when Ronald Reagan ran for re-election against Minnesota's own Walter Mondale. Mondale had served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States under Jimmy Carter from 1977-1981. The race was notable, not only because it featured one of our own on the national stage, but also because Mondale's running mate, Geraldine Ferraro, was the first woman to appear on any national ticket.
Of course, as we know now, the race is also famous for being one of the most lopsided elections in our country's history. I wasn't old enough to vote in that race, but I do remember how BIG a win it was for the Gipper. In fact, according to this Britannica history site dedicated to presidential elections, Ronald Reagan won every state except for Minnesota in 1984, and he nearly won the Land of 10,000 Lakes too-- Mondale won his home state by just under 4,000 votes, the site noted:
In 1984, Ronald Reagan won 49 states en route to amassing 525 electoral votes to Walter Mondale’s 13—one of the biggest landslides in U.S. election history.
Just think about it-- when we're hearing today how both Joe Biden and Donald Trump are scratching and clawing to reach those 270 electoral college votes needed to win (and promising recounts and court challenges to get all the possible votes they can), Reagan received nearly TWICE that amount, winning another 265 electoral college votes after hitting the 270 needed to win.
And speaking of presidents, did you know Ronald Reagan made an appearance here at Rochester International Airport just two days before he wound up winning big in 1984? And while we don't yet know if it'll be Joe Biden or Donald Trump who'll win the 2020 race, keep scrolling to look back to when President Trump made an appearance here in the Med City (also at RST) just four days before Minnesotans went to the polls this year.