Having used President Elect to see how badly Joe Biden, Mario Cuomo, John Glenn, and Gary Hart would have all lost to Ronald Reagan in 1984, I decided to try one more simulation.
What if Ted Kennedy had been the Democratic nominee? For the purpose of this simulation, I assumed that Kennedy would try to capture some Camelot nostalgia by naming Lloyd Bentsen of Texas as his running mate.
It didn’t work out well for Kennedy, though he did do better than Biden, Cuomo, and Glenn. (He did worse than Hart).
Kennedy managed to carry only the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. He did, however, manage to hold Reagan down to 56% of the popular vote. That’s not only a significant improvement on the other simulations (with the exception of Hart) but also an improvement on Walter Mondale’s real world performance.
Here’s the electoral map. Remember that President Elect uses blue for the Republicans and red for the Democrats.
And finally, the state-by-state results:
What did we learn from all this? Regan was unbeatable in 1984 but the Democrats still could have done better with a candidate other than Walter Mondale.