Jimmy Carter's former Vice-President Walter Mondale beat Colorado Senator Gary Hart in the 1984 Democratic Primary. Hart won 551,335 votes, or 35% of the vote, while Mondale won 747,267 votes, or 47% of the vote. Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson trailed with 264,463 votes, or 17% of the vote. Jackson's votes came mostly from Philadelphia, Dauphin and Allegheny counties (See Map below). Mondale's voter support came from blue-collar working class portions of the state: geographically his strength was in western Pennsylvania. He also finished a close second to Jackson in Philadelphia and to Hart in the central and southeastern parts of the state. Hart's strength was with the middle class, especially white-collar suburban voters. Hart also did well in the mid-state region. Mondale's victory, however, was achieved in western Pennsylvania.
Incumbent President Ronald Reagan had no trouble winning the Republican nomination. He launched his reelection campaign in late January with virtually no opposition. Only perennial Republican candidate Harold Stassen, the former Minnesota Governor, challenged the President. In Pennsylvania, Reagan ran unchallenged.