United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1984
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United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1984
1984 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

← 1980 November 6, 1984 1988 →
  Ronald Reagan 1985 presidential portrait (cropped).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 11 0
Popular vote 1,198,800 995,847
Percentage 54.19% 45.02%

WI1984.svg
County Results

President before election

Ronald Reagan
Republican

Elected President

Ronald Reagan
Republican

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

Wisconsin 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. It was the last time Wisconsin had voted for a Republican in a presidential election until Donald Trump won in 2016.[1]

Partisan background

The presidential election of 1984 was a very partisan election for Wisconsin, with over 99 percent of the electorate voting only either Democratic or Republican, though eight additional parties appeared on the ballot.[2] Most counties in Wisconsin voted in majority for Reagan, a particularly strong turn out in this rapidly liberalizing state. Notable exceptions to this trend were Milwaukee's Milwaukee County, almost entirely Native American Menominee County, and a few counties in the far North corner of the State, centered around Bayfield County. All of these have been Democratic strongholds since at least 1960 and more typically since the New Deal.

Wisconsin weighed in for this election as 10 points more Democratic than the national average. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Eau Claire County, La Crosse County, Rock County, and Iowa County voted for a Republican presidential candidate.[1]

Democratic platform

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 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 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

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.

These new tax 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 States 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

Reagan won the election in Wisconsin by a solid 9 point margin. While Wisconsin typically voted more conservative at the time, the election results in Wisconsin 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. The election of 1984 was the most recent election where Wisconsin has turned out for the Republican Party until Donald Trump won the state in the 2016 election. No Republican candidate has received as strong of support in the American Great Lakes States, at large, post Reagan.

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 Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Results

1984 United States presidential election in Wisconsin
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Ronald Reagan 1,198,800 54.19% 11
Democratic Walter Mondale 995,847 45.02% 0
Libertarian David Bergland 4,884 0.22% 0
Constitution Bob Richards 3,864 0.17% 0
Independent Lyndon LaRouche 3,791 0.17% 0
Independent Sonia Johnson 1,456 0.07% 0
Independent Dennis L. Serrette 1,007 0.05% 0
Write-Ins 706 0.03% 0
Independent Larry Holmes 619 0.03% 0
Independent Gus Hall 597 0.03% 0
Independent Melvin Mason 445 0.02% 0
Totals 2,212,016 100.0% 11

Results by county

County Ronald Wilson Reagan
Republican
Walter Frederick Mondale
Democratic
David Peter Bergland
Libertarian
Robert Eugene Richards
Constitution
Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, jr.
Independent
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast[15]
# % # % # % # % # % # % # %
Adams 3,645 56.85% 2,715 42.34% 6 0.09% 11 0.17% 29 0.45% 6 0.09% 930 14.50% 6,412
Ashland 3,517 42.54% 4,680 56.60% 25 0.30% 13 0.16% 11 0.13% 22 0.27% -1,163 -14.07% 8,268
Barron 9,587 53.94% 8,061 45.36% 27 0.15% 44 0.25% 38 0.21% 15 0.08% 1,526 8.59% 17,772
Bayfield 3,474 45.91% 4,034 53.31% 14 0.19% 13 0.17% 22 0.29% 10 0.13% -560 -7.40% 7,567
Brown 51,202 62.44% 30,218 36.85% 212 0.26% 122 0.15% 132 0.16% 117 0.14% 20,984 25.59% 82,003
Buffalo 3,325 52.74% 2,921 46.34% 13 0.21% 17 0.27% 16 0.25% 12 0.19% 404 6.41% 6,304
Burnett 3,528 51.01% 3,331 48.16% 18 0.26% 16 0.23% 13 0.19% 10 0.14% 197 2.85% 6,916
Calumet 8,970 64.57% 4,736 34.09% 15 0.11% 83 0.60% 53 0.38% 35 0.25% 4,234 30.48% 13,892
Chippewa 10,986 51.45% 10,202 47.78% 46 0.22% 39 0.18% 60 0.28% 18 0.08% 784 3.67% 21,351
Clark 8,099 58.24% 5,647 40.61% 30 0.22% 36 0.26% 78 0.56% 16 0.12% 2,452 17.63% 13,906
Columbia 11,662 58.52% 8,125 40.77% 34 0.17% 52 0.26% 40 0.20% 14 0.07% 3,537 17.75% 19,927
Crawford 4,412 55.87% 3,436 43.51% 20 0.25% 4 0.05% 20 0.25% 5 0.06% 976 12.36% 7,897
Dane 74,823 43.84% 94,659 55.46% 537 0.31% 101 0.06% 145 0.08% 420 0.25% -19,836 -11.62% 170,685
Dodge 20,458 64.41% 11,052 34.80% 56 0.18% 84 0.26% 82 0.26% 29 0.09% 9,406 29.61% 31,761
Door 8,264 67.35% 3,916 31.91% 38 0.31% 10 0.08% 21 0.17% 22 0.18% 4,348 35.43% 12,271
Douglas 7,066 32.92% 14,291 66.58% 26 0.12% 28 0.13% 25 0.12% 28 0.13% -7,225 -33.66% 21,464
Dunn 8,473 51.80% 7,712 47.15% 63 0.39% 49 0.30% 25 0.15% 36 0.22% 761 4.65% 16,358
Eau Claire 20,401 51.09% 19,347 48.45% 65 0.16% 30 0.08% 51 0.13% 35 0.09% 1,054 2.64% 39,929
Florence 1,227 58.01% 870 41.13% 2 0.09% 4 0.19% 8 0.38% 4 0.19% 357 16.88% 2,115
Fond du Lac 26,069 64.61% 13,983 34.66% 74 0.18% 77 0.19% 78 0.19% 65 0.16% 12,086 29.96% 40,346
Forest 2,296 50.53% 2,214 48.72% 9 0.20% 6 0.13% 16 0.35% 3 0.07% 82 1.80% 4,544
Grant 13,430 62.58% 7,892 36.78% 41 0.19% 27 0.13% 47 0.22% 23 0.11% 5,538 25.81% 21,460
Green 7,827 63.65% 4,367 35.52% 28 0.23% 27 0.22% 34 0.28% 13 0.11% 3,460 28.14% 12,296
Green Lake 6,198 71.11% 2,441 28.01% 22 0.25% 15 0.17% 29 0.33% 11 0.13% 3,757 43.10% 8,716
Iowa 4,983 56.01% 3,843 43.19% 30 0.34% 9 0.10% 21 0.24% 11 0.12% 1,140 12.81% 8,897
Iron 1,667 45.63% 1,967 53.85% 7 0.19% 5 0.14% 4 0.11% 3 0.08% -300 -8.21% 3,653
Jackson 4,386 55.81% 3,427 43.61% 7 0.09% 13 0.17% 17 0.22% 9 0.11% 959 12.20% 7,859
Jefferson 17,780 61.77% 10,788 37.48% 85 0.30% 49 0.17% 50 0.17% 32 0.11% 6,992 24.29% 28,784
Juneau 5,629 63.62% 3,152 35.62% 15 0.17% 18 0.20% 27 0.31% 7 0.08% 2,477 28.00% 8,848
Kenosha 26,118 46.89% 29,233 52.49% 118 0.21% 74 0.13% 87 0.16% 65 0.12% -3,115 -5.59% 55,695
Kewaunee 5,705 61.94% 3,444 37.39% 11 0.12% 21 0.23% 21 0.23% 8 0.09% 2,261 24.55% 9,210
La Crosse 25,721 58.77% 17,787 40.64% 104 0.24% 51 0.12% 48 0.11% 58 0.13% 7,934 18.13% 43,769
Lafayette 4,584 60.43% 2,961 39.03% 15 0.20% 6 0.08% 14 0.18% 6 0.08% 1,623 21.39% 7,586
Langlade 5,830 60.91% 3,675 38.39% 26 0.27% 16 0.17% 17 0.18% 8 0.08% 2,155 22.51% 9,572
Lincoln 6,682 55.08% 5,353 44.12% 30 0.25% 22 0.18% 30 0.25% 15 0.12% 1,329 10.95% 12,132
Manitowoc 19,639 52.54% 17,250 46.15% 92 0.25% 221 0.59% 114 0.31% 60 0.16% 2,389 6.39% 37,376
Marathon 27,080 55.64% 20,128 41.36% 115 0.24% 74 0.15% 135 0.28% 1,138 2.34% 6,952 14.28% 48,670
Marinette 11,444 62.35% 6,798 37.04% 32 0.17% 29 0.16% 27 0.15% 23 0.13% 4,646 25.31% 18,353
Marquette 3,406 61.79% 2,032 36.87% 16 0.29% 39 0.71% 15 0.27% 4 0.07% 1,374 24.93% 5,512
Menominee 392 31.84% 832 67.59% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 6 0.49% 1 0.08% -440 -35.74% 1,231
Milwaukee 196,290 42.86% 259,144 56.58% 875 0.19% 590 0.13% 493 0.11% 625 0.14% -62,854 -13.72% 458,017
Monroe 8,227 59.26% 5,567 40.10% 23 0.17% 17 0.12% 36 0.26% 14 0.10% 2,660 19.16% 13,884
Oconto 8,714 61.70% 5,289 37.45% 25 0.18% 41 0.29% 33 0.23% 22 0.16% 3,425 24.25% 14,124
Oneida 9,787 59.79% 6,417 39.20% 57 0.35% 44 0.27% 50 0.31% 14 0.09% 3,370 20.59% 16,369
Outagamie 36,773 64.54% 19,790 34.73% 108 0.19% 109 0.19% 99 0.17% 100 0.18% 16,983 29.81% 56,979
Ozaukee 23,898 68.48% 10,765 30.85% 80 0.23% 80 0.23% 49 0.14% 24 0.07% 13,133 37.63% 34,896
Pepin 1,555 48.56% 1,629 50.87% 8 0.25% 3 0.09% 4 0.12% 3 0.09% -74 -2.31% 3,202
Pierce 7,612 50.74% 7,289 48.58% 17 0.11% 24 0.16% 33 0.22% 28 0.19% 323 2.15% 15,003
Polk 8,106 49.82% 8,034 49.38% 25 0.15% 45 0.28% 37 0.23% 22 0.14% 72 0.44% 16,269
Portage 13,605 48.28% 14,399 51.10% 58 0.21% 34 0.12% 41 0.15% 42 0.15% -794 -2.82% 28,179
Price 4,289 54.62% 3,479 44.31% 21 0.27% 26 0.33% 29 0.37% 8 0.10% 810 10.32% 7,852
Racine 42,092 52.84% 36,955 46.39% 236 0.30% 180 0.23% 114 0.14% 86 0.11% 5,137 6.45% 79,663
Richland 4,858 62.66% 2,844 36.68% 23 0.30% 4 0.05% 11 0.14% 13 0.17% 2,014 25.98% 7,753
Rock 32,491 54.76% 26,433 44.55% 150 0.25% 78 0.13% 96 0.16% 86 0.14% 6,058 10.21% 59,334
Rusk 4,061 50.90% 3,843 48.16% 18 0.23% 24 0.30% 24 0.30% 9 0.11% 218 2.73% 7,979
Sauk 11,069 60.44% 7,158 39.09% 29 0.16% 17 0.09% 25 0.14% 15 0.08% 3,911 21.36% 18,313
Sawyer 3,913 56.14% 2,982 42.78% 17 0.24% 24 0.34% 23 0.33% 11 0.16% 931 13.36% 6,970
Shawano 10,635 65.55% 5,469 33.71% 24 0.15% 47 0.29% 35 0.22% 15 0.09% 5,166 31.84% 16,225
Sheboygan 26,345 55.05% 21,112 44.12% 112 0.23% 136 0.28% 77 0.16% 71 0.15% 5,233 10.94% 47,853
St. Croix 11,367 52.54% 10,127 46.81% 42 0.19% 26 0.12% 49 0.23% 24 0.11% 1,240 5.73% 21,635
Taylor 4,918 59.48% 3,271 39.56% 15 0.18% 15 0.18% 37 0.45% 13 0.16% 1,647 19.92% 8,269
Trempealeau 6,008 52.24% 5,407 47.02% 22 0.19% 25 0.22% 28 0.24% 10 0.09% 601 5.23% 11,500
Vernon 6,469 55.75% 5,051 43.53% 26 0.22% 12 0.10% 33 0.28% 12 0.10% 1,418 12.22% 11,603
Vilas 5,965 66.09% 2,940 32.57% 13 0.14% 17 0.19% 20 0.22% 71 0.79% 3,025 33.51% 9,026
Walworth 20,595 67.06% 9,877 32.16% 83 0.27% 54 0.18% 57 0.19% 44 0.14% 10,718 34.90% 30,710
Washburn 3,848 54.38% 3,188 45.05% 10 0.14% 13 0.18% 12 0.17% 5 0.07% 660 9.33% 7,076
Washington 25,279 65.54% 12,966 33.61% 94 0.24% 112 0.29% 84 0.22% 38 0.10% 12,313 31.92% 38,573
Waukesha 92,426 65.71% 47,313 33.64% 327 0.23% 268 0.19% 202 0.14% 124 0.09% 45,113 32.07% 140,660
Waupaca 13,097 68.33% 5,895 30.76% 31 0.16% 73 0.38% 48 0.25% 23 0.12% 7,202 37.57% 19,167
Waushara 5,769 66.79% 2,782 32.21% 24 0.28% 25 0.29% 30 0.35% 7 0.08% 2,987 34.58% 8,637
Winnebago 39,014 62.74% 22,791 36.65% 102 0.16% 100 0.16% 90 0.14% 86 0.14% 16,223 26.09% 62,183
Wood 20,525 62.42% 12,118 36.85% 65 0.20% 46 0.14% 86 0.26% 42 0.13% 8,407 25.57% 32,882
Totals 1,198,800 54.19% 995,847 45.02% 4,884 0.22% 3,864 0.17% 3,791 0.17% 4,830 0.22% 202,953 9.18% 2,212,016

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Sullivan, Robert David; 'How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century'; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  2. ^ "1984 Presidential General Election Results - Wisconsin". Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas. Retrieved .
  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 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 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 2013.
  9. ^ Joseph J. Thorndike (Nov 10, 2005). "Historical Perspective: The Windfall Profit Tax". Retrieved 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 .
  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.
  15. ^ "WI US President Race, November 06, 1984". Our Campaigns.

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