Photograph of Ronald Reagan's head inside an illustration of the Sun with blue text on a yellow background.
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Prior to running for the U.S. presidency, Ronald Reagan was the governor of California for two terms and served from 1967 to 1975. Pat Brown, the Democratic incumbent, tried to use Reagan’s career as an actor and lack of political experience against him. However, Reagan managed to win Californians over by promising to run the state more efficiently. In the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections, Reagan won more votes than his Democratic opponents and carried the state of California, though it was the last time a Republican presidential candidate would do so. Later in his life, Reagan retired to his home in Los Angeles when California was no longer regarded as “Reagan Country.”
Krishnakumar, P., Emamdjomeh, A., and Moore, M. (2016, October 31). After decades of Republican victories, here’s how California became a blue state again. Los Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-california-voting-history/