In the 1982 midterm elections, Republicans were able to maintain a majority in the Senate losing only one seat. The Democrats, however, cemented their majority in the House of Representatives when they gained 27 seats. The gains made by the Democrats were largely a result of President Reagan’s unpopularity, brought on by a deepening recession. Voters blamed the downturn on Reagan’s economic policies, but despite some national dissension, those close to Reagan, like Laxalt, believed that the prospects for reelection were bright—a win in 1984 seemed much more likely than it had in 1980.
By 1984, the economy had rebounded and Reagan’s popularity had a resurgence. As the 1984 election cycle began, both Reagan and Laxalt were at the zenith of their political careers. Reagan asked Laxalt one more time to be the national chairman for his reelection campaign. Laxalt agreed knowing that campaigning would be much easier than it had been in 1976 or 1980.
Laxalt and Reagan traveled around the country campaigning aboard Air Force One. Many of Reagan’s campaign appearances that year were to college campuses. Reagan was greeted with large energetic rallies that no doubt contributed to the overall success of the campaign. In November 1984, President Reagan was overwhelmingly reelected receiving 58% of the popular vote to Democratic challenger Walter Mondale’s 40%. He won the electoral votes in all the states except for Minnesota (Mondale’s home state) and the District of Columbia.
This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Nevada State Library and Archives. The physical collection is housed in Special Collections, a unit of the Libraries, at the University of Nevada, Reno. The digitized materials and website are brought to you by Digital Collections and the Web & Applications Technology departments of the Libraries at the University of Nevada, Reno.