This is the 52nd presidential election.
In the 50th in 1984, Democrats nominated a woman for the ticket, a first for a major party. She was New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro. Presidential nominee Walter Mondale, who had been Jimmy Carter's vice president, chose her as his running mate in a gesture to the growing women's vote, but some voters interpreted it as symbolic of his party's subservience to special-interest groups, the National Organization for Women having pressured him to so act.
Republicans renominated President Ronald Reagan, whose tax cuts had contributed to an economic boom (but growing deficits), which increased his personal popularity, largely based
on his exuberant personality.
Noting the deficits, Mr. Mondale vowed to raise taxes if he were elected, and this even more than his party's reputation as a collection of special-interest groups did him in.
President Reagan got over 10 million more votes than four years before, becoming the first man ever to win 50 million votes. His 525 electoral votes were also a record: he carried every state but Mondale's Minnesota.