1984 Democratic National Convention

1984 Democratic National Convention
1984 presidential election
Vice President Mondale 1977 closeup.jpg GeraldineFerraro.jpg
Mondale and Ferraro
Date(s) July 16–19, 1984
City San Francisco, California
Venue Moscone Center
Keynote speaker Mario Cuomo
Presidential nominee Walter Mondale of
Vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro of
New York
‹ 1980  ·  1988 ›
The Moscone Center was the site of the 1984 Democratic National Convention

The 1984 National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California from July 16 to July 19, 1984, to select candidates for the 1984 United States presidential election. Former Vice President Walter Mondale was nominated for president and Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York was nominated for vice president. Ferraro became the first woman to be nominated by either major party for the presidency or vice presidency. In another first, the 1984 Democratic Convention was chaired by the female governor of Kentucky, Martha Layne Collins.[1] The Democratic National Committee Chairman at the time, Charles T. Manatt, led the convention.


The convention was held at Moscone Center, a convention center in San Francisco, California. This marked the second time that a Democratic National Convention had been held in the city of San Francisco, with the 1920 edition having been held at the city's Civic Auditorium.[2]

Events of the Convention

Walter Mondale was nominated for President and Geraldine Ferraro was nominated for Vice President.

New York Governor Mario Cuomo gave a well-received keynote speech. Mondale's major rivals for the presidential nomination, Senator Gary Hart and Rev. Jesse Jackson, also gave speeches.

Jackson's speech referred to the nation as a "quilt" with places for "[t]he white, the Hispanic, the black, the Arab, the Jew, the woman, the Native American, the small farmer, the business person, the environmentalist, the peace activist, the young, the old, the lesbian, the gay, and the disabled".[3] It was the first time anyone mentioned lesbians and gays in a national convention address.[4] Jackson also attempted to move the party's platform farther to the left at the Convention, but without much success. He did succeed in one instance, concerning affirmative action.[5]

"AIDS poster boy" Bobbi Campbell gave a speech at the National March for Lesbian and Gay Rights, dying of AIDS complications a month later.[6]


The following candidates had their names placed in nomination


Before the convention had convened, Mondale was widely regarded as having secured the prerequisite delegate support to clinch the nomination.[2] However, he only attained this amount of delegate support with the inclusion of superdelegates that supported his candidacy. His number of pledged delegates (those bound to him, and awarded through primaries) alone did not give him enough of the a lead to win the nomination without superdelegate support.[2] His number of pledged delegates heading into the convention was 40 shy of the 1,967 needed to win the nomination.[7][8]

The candidates for U.S. president received the following numbers of delegates:

Democratic National Convention presidential vote, 1984[9]
Candidate Votes Percentage
Walter Mondale 2,191 56.41%
Gary Hart 1,201 30.92%
Jesse Jackson 466 12.00%
Thomas Eagleton 18 0.46%
George McGovern 4 0.10%
John Glenn 2 0.05%
Joe Biden 1 0.03%
Martha Kirkland 1 0.03%
Totals 3,884 100.00%

Jesse Jackson had unsuccessfully called for the suspension of the party's electoral rules to give him a number of delegates closer to the 20% average share of the vote he garnered during the primaries. The system tended to punish shallow showings as yielding no delegates at all, hence Jackson's smaller delegate count than would be expected (12%).[5]

Vice President

For the pick of Vice President of the United States of America, Mondale had a pick between Mayor Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco (the future 3 decade United States Senator from California) and Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York, he chose Congresswoman Ferraro to be his vice presidential running mate which established her as the first women to be nominated for Vice President of the United States of America from a major American political party.

See also


  1. ^ Ferraro, Geraldine (1986). Ferraro: My Story. New York: Bantam. ISBN 0-553-05110-5.
  2. ^ a b c Niekerken, Bill Van (1 August 2016). "SF's 1984 Democratic convention: Historic, but not smooth". SFChronicle.com. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  3. ^ House, Ernest R. (24 July 1988). "Jesse in 1984: Whites Wept, Blacks Frowned". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  4. ^ Reid, Joy-Ann (8 September 2015). Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide (Amazon Kindle ed.). William Morrow. p. 50. ASIN B00FJ3A98G.
  5. ^ a b "The Jackson Factor". The Economist. 1984-07-21. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
  6. ^ GLBT Historical Society (July 15, 1984). Bobbi Campbell speech (1984). YouTube. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Bomboy, Scott (8 June 2016). "A primer about recent convention brawls over delegates". National Constitution Center. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  8. ^ Phil Hirschkorn, "America's Last Great Convention: Mondale, Jackson & Hart Dish To Salon About Wild 1984 DNC", Salon. (February 15, 2015)
  9. ^ Our Campaigns - US President - D Convention Race - Jul 16, 1984

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