The 1980 convention was notable, as it was the last time in the 20th century, for either major party, that a candidate tried to get delegates released from their voting commitments. This was done by Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Carter's chief rival for the nomination in the Democratic primaries, who sought the votes of delegates held by Carter.
After losing his challenge for the nomination earlier that day, Kennedy spoke on August 12 and delivered a speech in support of President Carter and the Democratic Party. His speech closed with the lines "For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." The speech was written by Bob Shrum,
Various prominent delegates to this convention included Abe Beame, Geraldine Ferraro, Bruce Sundlun, Ruth Messinger, Thomas Addison, Ed Koch, Robert Abrams, Bella Abzug, Mario Biaggi, Steve Westly and Howard Dean.
On November 4, President Carter and Vice President Mondale lost to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the general election having lost both the popular vote by 8,423,115 popular votes and the electoral vote by 440 electoral votes.