President Jimmy Carter was already headed for a very tough and difficult Reelection Campaign in 1980. America went back into recession in 1980. Even though the economy was technically growing and we were technically creating jobs. These positives were being wiped out with both double digit Inflation and Interest Rates. That led to the Recession of 1979-80. And then you add the fact that the Soviet Union was on the march in Afghanistan. Attempting to create a Communist State there and looked to be winning the Cold War. Even though the American Military buildup actually started under President Carter not President Reagan. Plus with Progressive Democrats not being happy with President Carter. With his unwillingness to expand the Safety Net and had somewhat a Conservative Fiscal Policy. Keeping Federal Spending down in an effort to create a Balance Budget. One reason why Sen. Ted Kennedy ran against President Carter in the Democratic Primaries.
All of the factors made it very difficult for President Carter the underdog. In seeking reelection, the failed Hostage Rescue Attempt in 1980. Pretty much sealed the deal that the American Hostages weren’t going to be released before the 1980 Presidential Election. And that it was going to be early 1981 at the earliest that the American Hostages were going to be released. Which is what happened, the Carter Administration made that happen and President Carter. Deserves and gets credit for that, it happened after the Presidential Election. All of these factors, making it unlikely that President Carter would be reelected.