Ronald Reagan Ended Up Winning 44 Contests

The story of the 1980 Republican Primaries and how they compare to 2024.President Donald Trump is looking as though he may very well sweep the 2024 Republican primaries. We are just a few days into February, and there are just two names remaining left in the race - President Trump and Nikki Haley.

For a non-incumbent, 2024 is setting up to be the most dominant performance ever in a primary, Republican or Democrat.

The only other performance that comes even close to this level of domination - and it still falls quite short - is Ronald Reagan's performance in the 1980 Republican primaries.

Reagan was so popular that he very nearly unseated a sitting President - President Ford - for the nomination in 1976. So, it's no surprise that in 1980, Ronald Reagan would have an easy path to the nomination.


Heading into the primary season, Ronald Reagan was polling at as high as 40% to win the nomination.

George H.W. Bush gained some early momentum and actually ended up winning in Iowa.

This set up the infamous debate in New Hampshire, set up and paid for by Ronald Reagan, where he uttered the infamous line: "I paid for this microphone!" This landed well with voters in New Hampshire, and Reagan went on to easily win in New Hampshire.

Heading into March, Reagan had victories in Arkansas, Alaska and New Hampshire, while Bush had wins in Iowa and Puerto Rico.

Bush won in Massachusetts, but after that, it was all Ronald Reagan.

Reagan won in Vermont, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Illinois, before Bush won in Connecticut.

After that, the momentum increased for Reagan, as he won states such as New York and Wisconsin.

Bush would win a few more times - Maine, Pennsylvania, DC and Michigan - but Reagan would take the rest.


Bush would drop out on May 26th, 1980, where he would endorse Ronald Reagan. Reagan would nominate Bush to be his Vice President.

In the end, Reagan received over 7.7 million popular votes, and would finish the primaries with 1,222 delegates.

Bush, on the other hand, would receive 3.07 million popular votes and 637 delegates.


Reagan crushed Bush in 1980, and Bush still didn't drop out until the end of May, which should illustrate to you just how dominant President Trump is in 2024.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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