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The 2000 Us Presidential Election

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The 2000 US Presidential election

The United States holds an election every four years in order to find the new president in which to run the country. The 2000 election was no different. It brought about a new president for the United States, George W Bush.

There were various candidates in which Bush had to battle against in order to gain the title of the 43rd American president. These candidates included; Al Gore (Democrat), Ralph Nader (Green), Patrick J. Buchanan (Reform), Harry Browne (Libertarian), John Hagelin (Natural Law) and Howard Phillips (Constitution. This election was only the fourth or fifth time in United States history that a candidate had won the Presidency while losing the nationwide popular vote.

The primary elections provide a method for U.S. political parties to nominate and unite behind one popularly chosen candidate for the Presidency. Throughout the Democratic primaries, there were various candidates for the presidential nomination including; Senator Bob Kerrey and former Senator Bill Bradley. By the time of the Democratic primaries, however, all of them but Bradley had decided against running. This left the field virtually wide open for Al Gore, Clinton's vice president, who immediately became the front runner. Bradely positioned himself as the liberal alternative to Gore. Bradley announced his intetnion to campaign in a different way by conducting a positive campaign of ideas. He made spending money on social welfare programmes to help the poor and middle-class one of his central issues, as well as campaing finance reform and gun control. This shows the clash between candidates even before the race for president even began. Bradley was defeated by Gore in the primaries, even though he spent over 2 million dollars on his campaign. This was due to the support given to Gore by the Democratic Party establishment and Bradley's poor showing in the Iowa caucus.

The Republican Primaries of 2000 brought about a larger than usual number of candidates in the running. One potential candidate, Newt Gingrich declined to run and the two-time candidate Pat Buchanan decided to run on the Reform Party ticket. Several other candidates withdrew even before the Iowa caucus which lest Bush, McCain and Keyes as te only candidates left in the race. Bush, the governor of the second largest state in the Union, the son of a former president, and the favoured candidate of the Christian Right, was portrayed in the media as the establishment candidate, while McCain, a maverick senator with the support of many moderate Republicans and Independents, was portrayed as an insurgent. Although McCain won a few primaries, Bush took the majority and, with the support of the party's superdelegates, handily won the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

Nader was the most successful third party candidate, drawing 2.74% of the popular vote. After ignoring Nader, the Gore campaign made a pitch to the Nader followers, downplaying Gore's differences with Nader on the issues and claiming that his ideas were more similar to Nader's rather than Bush's. Many Gore followers blamed Nader for stealing vital Gore votes which could push him above Bush.

When the general election came about, the result was not know for more than a month after the voting because of the extended process of counting and then recounting of Florida presidential ballots, which would ultimately decide the election. Bush won the night election night vote count in Florida by a little over 1000 votes. Florida state law provided for an automatic recount due to the small margins. Gore and his campaign were not happy with the election result and requested that the votes be counted by hand in the four counties, however Bush filed against this. Vice president Al Gore came in second even though he received a larger number of popular votes and this contributed to the controversy of the election.



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