Reagan vs. Kennedy

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.

Hart vs. Reagan

After using President Elect to see how Joe Biden, Mario Cuomo, and John Glen would have all done against Ronald Reagan in 1984, I decided to see how Gary Hart would have done. Hart nearly did defeated Walter Mondale for the nomination so it’s only natural to assume that, on election night of 1984, some Democrats were wondering if maybe they should have given the Senator from Colorado a shot.

For the purpose of this simulation, I assumed that Gary Hart, like Mondale, picked New York’s Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate.

Here are the results:

Here’s the electoral map. Remember that President Elect uses red for Democrats and blue for Republicans.

Hart still lost in a landslide but he also significantly improved on the showings of Biden, Cuomo, and Glenn. He held Reagan down to a 55% popular vote majority and, most significantly, he did what the previous three didn’t. Hart actually won a few states to go along with the District of Columbia: New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland.

I guess Hart vs. Reagan would be a lot like Dewey vs. Roosevelt in 1944. The opposing party lost but it still did better than anyone expected.

Here’s the state-by-state breakdown:

Reagan vs. Glenn

Could anyone have beaten Ronald Reagan in 1984? After using President Elect to see how Joe Biden and Mario Cuomo would have fared, I decided to see what would have happened if the Democrats had nominated an authentic American hero, like John Glenn, to run against Reagan in 84.

For the purpose of the simulation, I assumed that Glenn picked Geraldine Ferraro for Vice President.

And again, things did not go well for the Democratic nominee:

When it comes to the popular vote count, Glenn did worse than Cuomo but still better than Biden. Still, Glenn only won the electoral votes of the District of Columbia.

Here’s the electoral map. Remember that, in President Elect, the Democrats are red while the Republicans are blue.

Reagan vs. Cuomo

After using President Elect to see how Joe Biden would have done against Ronald Reagan in 1984, I decided to see what would have happened if the Democrats had instead nominated then New York Governor Mario Cuomo. Cuomo electrified the ’84 Democratic Convention with his keynote speech and was considered for Vice President, though Walter Mondale ultimately selected Geraldine Ferraro.

For the purpose of this simulation, I assumed that Cuomo followed Mondale’s lead and picked a female running mate. Since both Cuomo and Ferraro were New Yorkers, I had Cuomo pick Colorado’s Pat Schroeder.

Here’s how things ended up:

As you can see, Cuomo only won the electoral votes of the District of Columbia. He even lost New York, though he did manage to hold Regan down to a 57% victory in that state. Still, Cuomo did get more of the popular vote than Biden did in yesterday’s simulation.

Here’s the state-by-state results:

And finally, here’s the electoral map. Keep in mind that President Elect uses red for the Democrats and blue for the Republicans.

Reagan vs Biden

I was recently reading about the 1984 presidential election, the one where Ronald Reagan destroyed Walter Mondale, when I came across the tidbit that Joe Biden briefly flirted with throwing his hat in the ring. When he realized that he wouldn’t be able to raise enough money to be competitive, he endorsed Mondale.

I decided to use the Internet Archive’s President Elect, one of the best election simulators out there, to see how Joe Biden would have done if he had run. For the purpose of this simulation, I decided that Biden followed Mondale’s lead and nominated a woman for veep. I assumed that he went for Kentucky’s then governor, Martha Layne Collins, because Collins would provide a geographic balance that the senator from Deleware would not have achieved by picking Geraldine Ferraro from neighboring New York.

After letting the simulator do its thing, here’s what we ended up with:

Basically, according to the President Elect, Biden would have done even worse than Walter Mondale. Mondale received 39% of the popular vote and carried Minnesota and the District of Columbia. Biden receives 35% of the vote and fails to carry Delaware.

Here’s the state by state breakdown:

Here’s what the electoral map would look like. Keep in mind that President Elect uses red for the Democrats and blue for the Republicans.

What does this mean?

It means that if you don’t like Biden and you find his fawning press coverage to be ludicrous, you can always find relief by humiliating him on President Elect. It also means that, despite what some of his more rabid fans insist, Donald Trump was no Ronald Reagan. There’s been a lot of talk about how humiliating it must have been for Hillary Clinton to lose to a candidate with as much personal baggage as Donald Trump. Imagine how humiliating it must also be to lose to a candidate as empty-headed as Joe Biden.