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2000 Us Presidential Election

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The US Presidential Election of 2000 featured George W. Bush and Al Gore. It will go down in history as one of the most closest electionsÐŽ¦ in US history. It also goes down as one of the most controversial. The final decision was based on just a few hundred votes in Florida. The controversy began when the media prematurely declared the winner twice based solely on exit polls. They finally conceded that the Florida count was just too close to predict. It would take a month before the election was ultimately certified after numerous court challenges and vote recounts. Republican candidate George W. Bush was declared the winner of the FloridaÐŽ¦s 25 electoral votes. This was a victory by a razor thin margin of popular votes. It was just the fourth time in United States history that a candidate had won the Presidency while losing the popular vote. How could this be and furthermore, how could this happen? Is this just the tip of the iceberg that election reform is necessary? We need to insure that every American vote counts. This is supposed to be the basis of getting Americans to the voting booths according to our founding fathers. So what can be done to make sure that every vote DOES count?

The Campaign

Al Gore was chosen by the Democratic Party as their choice for nomination. Al Gore had previously served under US President, Bill Clinton, and was immediately the front runner as the partyÐŽ¦s top choice. His choice for Vice President was Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. Leiberman was also the first person of Jewish dissent to be name to a national party ticket. His choice of Lieberman was determined to have been made to separate Gore from the scandals of President Clinton. It was necessary for Al Gore to distance himself as far as possible from the inherited connections. He declared himself as defender of the people against large corporations, special interest groups, and the powerful. He pledged to extend Medicare to assist senior citizens purchase prescription drugs, push for a universal health care system, lower crime rates, and maintain the strength of our standing army.

Al Gore began his campaign trail by attacking George W. BushÐŽ¦s tax plans. A firm believer that these plans were only intended to benefit the most wealthy of AmericaÐŽ¦s citizens. His proposed tax plans were targeted at more of the US population- the lower and middle class citizens. Another important issue in Al GoreÐŽ¦s campaign was the protection of Social Security. This is an issue as important to the American citizens as taxes. People are in need of being reassured that the program remains solvent for their use when needed. American pay into the system and they expect to be recipients in their time of need.

George W. Bush was no stranger to politics. His father is George H. Bush, the 41st President of the United States. Son, George W. had his own career and experience working to his advantage in the state of Texas as Governor. Early in his second term as Governor, plans were being constructed for his run for the nationÐŽ¦s highest office. BushÐŽ¦s choice for a running mate was Dick Cheney. Bush felt that he was the best man for the position given his history in elected and appointed offices. CheneyÐŽ¦s resume includes serving as chief of staff under former president Gerald Ford, and secretary of defense for his father. This decision also gave George W. the solidarity it lacked when people questioned his experience. Cheney would be there to guide George W. in times of need.

George W. Bush ran his campaign on the philosophy of renewed moral leadership. Something that had been lost in the Clinton-Gore administration. Bush focused on issues such as providing tax cuts and improving education. He also had a desire to change Social Security by letting people invest a portion of their funds in the stock market. Something that we are seeing as being a controversial subject yet today.

November 7, 2000 - Election Night

The race between the candidates was expected to be a close one. However, no one ever dreamt the controversy that was about the unfold. As in the past, the media was covering the all important election. They had always relied on exit polls as the polls closed across the nation. In reality, the Florida results were just too close to call. Nevertheless, that did not stop the media from doing so. Not once, but twice, major news media outlets were erroneous in their report. Around 8pm, it was declared that Al Gore was the projected winner of the electoral votes in the state of Florida. However, a couple of hours later, the projection was retracted and restated as Florida as being too close to call. Then, just after 2am on November 8, the mistake was made for a second time. The major networks declared George W. as the winner. This even led to Al Gore calling the Governor to concede. However, as Gore prepared to address his supporters in Nashville, Tennessee, he was alert to the shrinking numbers in BushÐŽ¦s lead. The final total was now less than one half of a percent lead in favor of Bush. That immediately calls for a recount of votes under state law. Subsequently, Gore called Bush and retracted his concession. It wasnÐŽ¦t over yet! One thing was, Al Gore had prevailed in the popular vote but without FloridaÐŽ¦s tally, the electoral vote was up in the air. The election wasnÐŽ¦t over and the recounts began.


The results of the November 7, 2000 election were unknown for more than a month after the election. The endless counting and recounting of the Florida presidential votes swung the election continuously. Figures on election night gave 245 electoral votes to Bush and 255 to Gore. Under the electoral vote, it takes 270 votes to win the presidency. There were also two other states in the mix, New Mexico and Oregon. Like Florida, the voting was too close to call at the time. It was later that both New Mexico and Oregon declared in favor of Gore making the total now 246-267. This left the final determining factor up to the state of Florida.

General concerns of the fairness and accuracy of the Florida count emerged. The small change in the vote count could determine the outcome, whatever it was. At last, the final and disputed official count gave the victory to Bush by a mere 537 votes.

Immediately, the Gore campaign filed a dispute in the stateÐŽ¦s election results by requesting that questionable ballots in four Florida counties be hand counted. Bush counteracted by filing suit against manual recounts. The Bush campaign hired former Secretary of State, James Baker to oversee the legal rulings. The Gore



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