2000 U.S. Presidential Election Bush vs. Gore
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
The 2000 United States presidential election was the 54th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 7, 2000. Republican candidate George W. Bush, the governor of Texas and eldest son of the 41st president, George H. W. Bush, won the election, defeating Democratic nominee Al Gore, the incumbent vice president. It was the fourth of five presidential elections in which the winning candidate lost the popular vote, and is considered one of the closest elections in US history.
Gore had secured the Democratic nomination with relative ease, defeating a challenge by former Senator Bill Bradley. Bush was seen as the early favorite for the Republican nomination and despite a contentious primary battle with Senator John McCain and others, secured the nomination by Super Tuesday. Bush chose former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney as his running mate, while Gore chose Senator Joe Lieberman.
Both major-party candidates focused primarily on domestic issues, such as the budget, tax relief, and reforms for federal social insurance programs, although foreign policy was not ignored. Due to President Bill Clinton's sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky and subsequent impeachment, Gore avoided campaigning with Clinton. Republicans denounced Clinton's indiscretions, while Gore criticized Bush's lack of experience. On election night, it was unclear who had won, with the electoral votes of the state of Florida still undecided. The returns showed that Bush had won Florida by such a close margin that state law required a recount. A month-long series of legal battles led to the highly controversial 5–4 Supreme Court decision Bush v. Gore, which ended the recount.CNN's live coverage of the election with Bernard King:
NBC's live coverage of the election with Tom Brokaw:
Florida Supreme Court:
Al Gore final concession speech finally came after the final U.S. Supreme Court decision:
The recount having been ended, Bush won Florida by 537 votes, a margin of 0.009%. The Florida recount and subsequent litigation resulted in major post-election controversy, and various people and organizations have speculated about who would have won the election in various scenarios. Ultimately, Bush won 271 electoral votes, one more than a majority, despite Gore receiving 543,895 more votes (a margin of 0.51% of all votes cast).
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