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The 1980 presidential election was a race between front-runner Ronald Reagan and incumbent President Jimmy Carter. “Carter Must Go” was a phrase used in promoting the Republican party in order to combat several economic errors committed during Carter’s presidency. Many republican advertisements didn’t promote a republican candidate, but rather addressed the understood desires of the people and presented a vote of no confidence in the current leadership at the time. The three economic errors that were most concerning included inflation, unemployment, and oil. Douglas A. Hibbs suggests Reagan’s victory was a result of either the people’s reaction to poor performance or a fundamental shift to the right.
Hibbs, D. A. Jr. (1982). President Reagan's mandate from the 1980 elections: a shift to the right? American Politics Quarterly, 10, 387-420. Retrieved from http://web.csulb.edu/~astevens/posc420/files/hibbs.html