In 1980, the former governor of California, and famous actor, Ronald Reagan, faced the incumbent Jimmy Carter. The two differed in Cold War policy, with Reagan favoring a more aggressive stance against Russia. They differed in temperament, with Reagan taking on a more positive persona. And they differed in economics, with Reagan claiming America was in a recession and in need of government intervention.
Reagan gained a boost in televised debates, a clear advantage for the seasoned actor. He won with 51% of the popular vote and 91% of the electoral vote.