A picture of Ronald Reagan from a 1980 issue of The Statesman. Reagan was elected the 40th President of the United States in 1980 over President Jimmy Carter.  STATESMAN FILE

Originally published on Nov. 5, 1980

Washington (AP) – President Jimmy Carter conceded defeat last night as Ronald Reagan was elected the 40th President of the United States.

Defying the pre-election polls, Reagan captured a victory of landslide proportions. “The people of the United States have made their choice,” Carter said.

Speaking at a Washington Hotel, Carter said he had telephoned Reagan in Los Angeles. Carter said he congratulated the former California Governor and promised his cooperation in the transition to a new administration.

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Carter called for unity among the American people, and he urged his supporters to transfer that support to Reagan.

Carter Campaign Manager Robert Strauss told ABC News that the President was already instructing his staff to prepare for the transition.

With 92 percent of the Nation’s precincts reporting, Reagan has 51 percent of the boat with 39,448,486 votes cast in his favor; Carter, 41 percent, with 32,448,486, votes; and Anderson seven percent with 5,051,688 votes.

Carter has won six states with 45 electoral votes. He leads in two states, with 12 electoral votes.

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Reagan has won 42 states with 469 electoral votes. He leads in one state, with six electoral votes.

Anderson has won no states and leads in no states.

In order to win, a candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral votes from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Percentages may not total 100 percent because of additional candidates on the ballot in some states. 

In his victory speech, Reagan told the exuberant crowd that his goal was to tap the spirit that settled the continent, won two world wars and survived the depression. And he said the country will survive the problems it faces now.

The president-elect recalled that he had asked for the people’s prayers when he accepted the nomination — and he said he will be happy to have them “in the days ahead.”

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Students React

By Laura Craven and David Durst 

Stony Brook students reacted strongly as Jimmy Carter lost the Presidential Election to Ronald Reagan in an unpredicted landslide, early last night.

Shortly before 10 PM, Carter conceded to Reagan. He told a cheering crowd of his supporters that he had promised the country four years ago that he would never lie.

“So I can’t stand here tonight and say it doesn’t hurt,” Carter said as he opened his concession statement. “The people of the United States have made their choice.”

“We are in a lot of trouble,” said Salvatore LaRocca, a Political Science major. “I think that the people who voted for Reagan have put a very dangerous man in the White House.”

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“Needed Change”

Sophomore Shawn Frost had differed. “I think that the country needed a change. I think that the right person won,” he said. “I think that the country will be heading in a different direction, hopefully, the right one.”

“I voted for him. I am very happy. I think he’ll do a better job than Carter,” said Arny Engelson.

Seth Zirin, another Benedict College junior said that he felt “suicidal.”

“It’s good that he won because he is going to strengthen the country,” said Scott Kaplan, a James College junior. “He’ll get a little respect back for the country.”

“I can always console myself with the fact that I will be old enough to avoid the draft”, said senior Brian Padilla. “I’ve been thinking of visiting other countries lately.”

Padilla then defined “lately” as, “I think the sudden urge [to visit other countries] came about an hour ago, when I was eating dinner and it was pretty obvious that Reagan won.”

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