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Word Count: 371
Election of 1980 Nearing the end of his term Carter believed that his most critical problem was a vague sense of ill-being in the United States that he felt had produced a crisis of national will The gloom hanging over the administration deepened even further when in 1979 Senator Edward M Kennedy of Massachusetts announced that he would challenge Carter for the Democratic nomination Party leaders generally supported Carter however Claiming that he was needed to watch over the nations business Carter did almost no primary campaigning and refused even to debate Kennedy This strategy paid off in the short run Carter won two-thirds of the primaries But he lost several important primaries to Kennedy those of New York Pennsylvania and California Kennedy refusing to concede defeat even after Carter had won many more than the 1666 delegates required for nomination fought on for a more liberal party platform Carter was forced to accept most of his proposals Unfortunately during the campaign Carter could never quite arouse Democratic enthusiasm In fact former California Governor Ronald W Reagan who was the Republican nominee successfully competed with Carter for the votes of many Democrats Reagan was able to appeal to many people by taking advantage of resentment against the decline of US power overseas the problems of the economy and the decay of traditional moral attitudes Although a large body of voters according to public-opinion polls were concerned about Reagans reputation for an aggressively anti-Soviet foreign policy Carters attempt to make arms control the main issue of the campaign failed The main issue of the campaign was Carter himself and what many people considered to be his record of failure Carter and Mondale which was also renominated lost overwhelmingly to Reagan and his vice-presidential running mate George Bush with 41 percent of the vote to 51 percent for the Republicans The Democrats also lost control of the US Senate for the first time in 26 years
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