1980 United States presidential election in Rhode Island

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United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1980

← 1976 November 4, 1980 1984 →
Turnout79.0%[1] Increase 2.6 pp
  Carter cropped.jpg Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981-cropped.jpg JohnAnderson.png
Nominee Jimmy Carter Ronald Reagan John B. Anderson
Party Democratic Republican Independent
Home state Georgia California Illinois
Running mate Walter Mondale George H. W. Bush Patrick Lucey
Electoral vote 4 0 0
Popular vote 198,342 154,793 59,819
Percentage 47.67% 37.20% 14.38%

United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1980 results by county.svg
County results

President before election

Jimmy Carter

Elected President

Ronald Reagan

The 1980 United States presidential election in Rhode Island took place on November 4, 1980, as part of the 1980 United States presidential election.

The Democratic Party candidate, incumbent President Jimmy Carter, won the state over former California Governor Ronald Reagan by 43,549 votes, giving him one of just seven victories in the election (other than Rhode Island, Carter also carried Maryland, Minnesota, Hawaii, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and his home state of Georgia).

While Carter was able to win Rhode Island by more than ten percentage points, some of his votes were taken away by the strong third party candidacy of John Anderson, a liberal Republican Congressman who ran in 1980 as an independent after failing to win the Republican Party's own presidential nomination. Anderson proved very popular with liberal and moderate voters in New England who viewed Reagan as too far to the right and with normally leaning Democratic voters who were dissatisfied with the policies of the Carter Administration. New England overall would prove to be Anderson's strongest region in the nation, with all six New England states giving double-digit percentages to Anderson. In fact, Rhode Island would ultimately prove to be John Anderson’s third strongest state in the nation after neighboring Massachusetts and Vermont, his 14.38% of the vote in the state more than double the 6.61% he got nationwide.[2]

Nationally, Reagan won the election with 489 electoral votes and 50.75% of the popular vote.


United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1980[3]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Jimmy Carter (incumbent) 198,342 47.67% 4
Republican Ronald Reagan 154,793 37.20% 0
Independent John B. Anderson 59,819 14.38% 0


  1. ^ This figure is calculated by dividing the total number of votes cast in 1980 (432,686) by an estimate of the number of registered voters in Rhode Island in 1980 (547,472). See "General Election November 2, 1980". Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "1980 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  3. ^ "1980 Presidential General Election Results – Rhode Island". Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas. Retrieved 2015-05-20.