Because it seems as though we've been convinced
That 26% of the registered voters
Not even 26% of the American people
But 26% of the registered voters form a mandate ...
Or a landslide ...

from Gil Scott-Heron – "B" Movie Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

When Reagan won his first term, he proclaimed he had a mandate (the support of the American people) to enact his vision of supply-side “Reaganomics” economics, and socially conservative doctrines.

While there is no well-defined way of identifying what constitutes a “mandate”, 26% is nowhere near even half of the population. The voter turnout for the 1980 presidential election was about 52% of the population, so 26 percent of that is about 14% of the US population. Plus, the demographic “registered voters” was nowhere near representative of all American demographics (it biases against minority groups).

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