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Ronald Reagan was an actor who became involved with politics in the 1960s. He was the Governor of California from 1966 to 1974. In 1968 and 1976 he ran unsuccessfully to become the Republican Party's nominee for President, but he easily secured the nomination in 1980. At the Republican Convention on July 14, 1980, Reagan declared that he would improve the lives of all Americans by "making America great again," which became his campaign slogan.
Reagan ran against incumbent President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election, alongside vice-presidential nominee George H.W. Bush. His campaign stressed lower taxes, states' rights and less governmental interference in people's lives. In the general election, Reagan was behind in most polls leading up to the sole televised debate with Carter, but the Reagan/Bush ticket was able to overcome the deficit. Reagan ended up carrying 44 states, and became the 40th President of the United States.