The 2000 US Presidential Election
The 2000 USA Presidential Election
The 2000 USA presidential election was a competitive race that comprised of the Democratic candidate Al Gore and the Republican nominee George W. Bush. Al Gore was the then vice president, and he was a competitive candidate who gave Bush a hard time to win the election. George Bush was the governor of Texas and the son of the former president George H. W. Bush. This gave him a higher competitive advantage in the presidential election because his father was a popular figure in the United States. The incumbent Democratic president Bill Clinton was not eligible to serve another term, and his vice president Al Gore secured the Democratic nomination without struggling. On the other hand, Bush was the Republican nominee, and he contended with Senator John McCain in the nomination. Despite the contentious battle in the nominations, Bush secured the Republican nomination, and he became the party’s presidential flagbearer. Third party candidates were present, and the most prominent one was Ralph Nader.
The campaigns were vigorous, and the candidates sold out their manifestos to the people to secure their votes. George Bush decided to choose the former Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, as his running mate while Al Gore chose Senator Joe Lieberman as his running mate in the election. The two presidential candidates concentrated on the domestic issues like tax relief, the budget, as well as the reforms for social indemnity programs. Furthermore, the contestants emphasized on foreign policy because they understood the significance of the issue on the American economy. Bill Clinton and Al Gore did not campaign together because of the Lewinsky scandal that had occurred two years before the 2000 election. This was a deliberate decision and a strategic one because they knew that campaigning together could spur a mixture of reactions amongst the voters. They had to put their relationship apart to manipulate the voters to vote for the Democratic candidate.
Bush narrowly won the 2000 presidential election that was held on November 7th. He managed to gain 271 electoral votes compared to Al Gore’s 266. The Florida results did not satisfy the candidates, and they proceeded to the courts to settle the disagreement. Florida comprised of 25 electoral votes and this case was to decide the winner of the presidential election. A recount happened in there, and an uncommon event occurred where the winner got fewer popular votes compared with the loser. The court’s decision in the Bush v. Gore case terminated the vote recounts in Florida and awarded George Bush the victor of Florida’s votes. This granted him the presidential victory, and the people appreciated the court’s decision and accepted the outcomes of the vote recount. The manual vote recount in the state of Florida might have given a different result from what the court decided in its verdict.
George Bush’s presidency was ascertained by five conservative justices of the U.S Supreme Court. The 2000 presidential election is understood to be the closest election in American history where several hundred votes in Florida determined the winner of the tight contestant out of more than one hundred million votes cast in the United States. Bush’s victory was suspicious because the Supreme Court of the country decided to terminate the manual vote recount that could have given different results (Fiorina et al., 2003). Al Gore’s supporters were not happy with the decision because they believed that it was a biased verdict that was influenced by both internal and external factors. Gore’s fans thought that the presidency was rigged and the son of the former president had the upper hand in the judicial activism. He was the first president in the US to lose the popular vote, and this marked another starting point of the U.S history.
Bush’s presidency led the first unified Republican government yet the networks indicated that Al Gore had won the Florida votes. Before the results were announced Gore has tried to persuade Bush to concede defeat, but the winner had not been declared. This shows that Al Gore was confident that the recount would yield positive results that would see him announced the winner of the presidential election. Many might say that he was too ambitious and he did not realize the weight of the competitor. Bush was declared the victor of the election after the court’s decision to stop the manual recount of Florida’s votes (Gibson et al., 2003). Gore emerged the winner of the popular vote which showed the first inversion of the electoral and popular poll since the year 1888. This indicates that the election was very competitive as the winner won by a slight margin of votes after the Supreme Court’s decision.
Al Gore out powered George Bush in the popular votes as he managed to secure five hundred thousand more votes. This was the most controversial election in American history, and it consisted of intelligent and experienced aspirants who had the knowledge on national and international issues (Brady, 2004). The voters rated the candidates to assure that they elect the appropriate president who would have a significant value to the U.S economy. Those that focused on the growth and development of the country’s economy preferred Al Gore over Bush because they understood the intensity of the situation (Price & Stroud, 2005). Bill Clinton had subjected Americans to a long and painful scandal between 1998 and 1999. This might have spurred voters to cast a ballot for Bush because the previous administration was characterized by increased suppression and economic breakdown. Al Gore’s best decision was rejecting to run on the Clinton record. Clinton had been involved in some scandals, and his record was not good hence, Gore decided to run on his own to avoid losing voters on the Clinton record.
The Bush campaign team did an excellent work because they managed to portray their presidential aspirant as a capable and robust leader while at the same time criticizing their opponents and addressing them as untrustworthy candidates. After the election, disputes emerged over the accuracy and dependability of election technology because there were incidents of butterfly ballots and punch card voting machines. In such a poll, the credibility of the election team must have been questioned because of some of the errors and inaccuracy that were reported. The Gore campaign team and that of Bush appealed the decisions of the Supreme Court to favour each side, but Bush emerged the victor after a competitive presidential race and hard courtyard battles regarding the election.
In my opinion, Bush’s victory was controversial because the justices favoured him during the verdict. It is notable that most of the judges had been appointed by Republican presidents and this might have impacted on the decision-making process. The decision should have waited for the completion of the vote recount to identify the real winner of the presidential election. Furthermore, Jeb Bush was the governor of Florida during the recount period. No proof of wrongdoing was reported, but I think that he might have helped his brother to secure the presidency. Most justices ruled in favour of George Bush because they were biased and had been given their job by presidents who were from the same party. It was important for Gore to accept defeat but he disagreed with the ruling of the United States Supreme Court. The decision was biased and limited the success of Al Gore who had already won the popular vote.
The 2000 presidential election remains to be the closest in American soil, and it marked the first poll to be ruled by the US Supreme Court. George Bush secured the presidency as an embattled president as many people not only in the US but also internationally questioning his validity. The president did a great job in uniting the country, and he appeared to be a significant figure during his administration as the US legitimate president. The election was vigorous and sturdy as the contenders sold their manifestos to the US citizens with an effort to secure their trust and votes. The poll was conducted in a legal manner despite the strange incidents that occurred. The Supreme Court should, however, consider assessing and analyzing an election process before making such a ruling. The ruling on the 2000 presidential election showed a lot of biases and incompetence in that judicial system. They should have allowed the completion of the vote recount to identify the legitimate winner of the controversial election.
Brady, H. E. (2004). Data-set observations versus causal-process observations: The 2000 US presidential election. Rethinking social inquiry: Diverse tools, shared standards, 267-272.
Fiorina, M., Abrams, S., & Pope, J. (2003). The 2000 US presidential election: Can retrospective voting be saved?. British Journal of Political Science, 33(2), 163-187.
Gibson, J. L., Caldeira, G. A., & Spence, L. K. (2003). The Supreme Court and the US presidential election of 2000: Wounds, self-inflicted or otherwise?. British Journal of Political Science, 33(4), 535-556.
Price, V., & Stroud, N. J. (2005). Public attitudes toward polls: Evidence from the 2000 US presidential election. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 18(4), 393-421.