The already embattled incumbent Democratic president Carter was hurt in the state by the strong
third party candidacy of John Anderson, a
liberal Republican Congressman who ran in 1980 as an independent after failing to win the Republican Party's own presidential nomination. Anderson proved very popular with liberal and moderate voters in
New England who normally leaned Democratic but were dissatisfied with the policies of the Carter Administration and viewed Reagan as too far to the right. New England overall would prove to be Anderson's strongest region in the nation, with all six New England states giving double-digit percentages to Anderson. In fact, Connecticut would prove to be Anderson's fifth strongest state in the nation after
Rhode Island and
New Hampshire. His 12.22% of the vote in the state was nearly double the 6.61% he got nationwide.
United States presidential election in Connecticut, 1980