Check out these numbers…
So maybe it really was a landslide?
Still, as Nate Silver points, if you slice this onion a different way and look at the votes as a % of the total registered voters, Reagan comes out on top…
By this metric, Reagan’s win in 1980 is still somewhat more impressive than Obama’s — he won by 8,425,115 votes out of 159,635,102 available, or 5.3%.
By contrast, Obama won by 9,124,522 votes out of 213,005,467 available, or 4.3%.
However, Obama’s fraction is slightly better than George H.W. Bush’s in 1988, who won by 7,077,121 votes out of 167,701,904 available, or 4.2%.
So yes, Reagan’s shadow still looms large, but it seems like Obama has enough electoral ammo if he wants to try some more progressive ideas for the economy and beyond.