2000

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & ELECTIONS

OVERVIEWS & CHRONOLOGIES: 2000

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

OVERVIEW

Election Year: 2000

Election Day Date: November 7, 2000

Winning Ticket:

  • George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Republican 50,460,110 47.87% 271 50.4%

Losing Ticket(s):

  • Albert Gore Jr., Joseph Lieberman, Democratic 51,003,926 48.38% 266 49.4%
  • Ralph Nader, Winona LaDuke, Green 2,883,105 2.73% 0 0.0%
  • Patrick Buchanan, Ezola Foster, Reform 449,225 0.43% 0 0.0%
  • Harry Browne, Art Olivier, Libertarian 384,516 0.36% 0 0.0%
  • Other (+) – – 236,593 0.22% 0 0.0%

Voter Turnout:

  • Total VAP 209,278,949
  • Total VAC 193,376,828
  • REG 157,045,557
  • Total Vote 105,417,475
  • %VAP 50.4%
  • %VAC 54.5%
  • %REG 67.1%

Central Forums/Campaign Methods for Addressing Voters:

Stumping, speeches, rallies; television, interviews, talk show appearances; print and television ads; primary, Presidential, Vice Presidential debates; press newspapers and magazines

Election Law/Campaign Finance Changes:

Incumbent President and Vice President on Election Day:

William Jefferson Clinton, Albert Gore, Jr., Democratic, 1993-2001

Population: 2000: 282,413,000

Nominal GDP (billions of dollars): $9,951.5 Real GDP (billions of 2005 dollars): $11,226.0 GDP Deflator (index 2005=100%): 88.65 Population (in thousands): 282,413
Nominal GDP per capita (current dollars): $35,237 Real GDP per capita (year 2005 dollars): $39,750

Number of Daily Newspapers:

Average Daily Circulation:

Households with:

  • Radio:
  • Television:
  • Computer/Internet:

Method of Choosing Electors: Popular vote (mostly General Ticket/Winner Take All)

Had the ballot recount continued, the Florida legislature was prepared to appoint the Republican slate of electors to avoid missing the federal deadline for choosing electors.

Method of Choosing Nominees: Presidential preference primaries and caucuses

Central Issues:

Domestic issues; Clinton Presidency and morality; usage of budget surplus

Leading Candidates (Nomination/Primaries):

Democratic Party candidates

  • Al Gore, Vice President of the United States (Tennessee)
  • Bill Bradley, former U.S. senator (New Jersey)

Republican Party Candidates

  • George W. Bush, Governor of Texas
  • John McCain, Senator (Arizona)
  • Alan Keyes, Former U.S. ECOSOC Ambassador (Mayland)
  • Steve Forbes, Businessman (New York)
  • Gary Bauer
  • Orrin Hatch, Senator (Utah)

Reform Party candidates

  • John B. Anderson, former U.S. Representative for the 16th Congressional District of Illinois, former Independent Presidential candidate (Florida)
  • David L. Boren, former U.S. Senator (Oklahoma)
  • Pat Buchanan, former speechwriter and Senior Advisor to President Richard Nixon (Virginia)
  • Charles E. Collins, former school board chairman from a rural Florida county (Georgia)
  • John Hagelin, Ph.D., past and then-current Natural Law Party candidate (Iowa)
  • Ross Perot, 1996 presidential nominee (Texas)
  • Donald Trump, Billionaire real estate developer (New York)

Main Controversies (Nomination/Primaries):

Insurgent candidates (McCain, Bradley) vs. Party/establishment support (mainstream) candidates (Bush, Gore)

Campaign Innovations (Nomination/Primaries):

Major Personalities (Nomination/Primaries ):

John McCain; Jerry Falwell; Pat Robertson; Gary Bauer, Dan Quayle, Pat Buchanan, Alan Keyes; Elizabeth Dole; Bob Dole;

Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey; Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt; Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone (exploratory committee); Warren Beatty (declined to run)

Turning Points (Nomination/Primaries):

Republican Party:

  • George Bush’s theme was “Compassionate Conservatism”; raised $36 million in the first half of 1999, prompting moderate many Republicans hopefuls to withdraw
  • John McCain was running as crusading insurgent; campaign finance reform and honesty
  • In Summer 1999 Pat Buchanan published a book were he agreed with some of Hitler’s policies, prompting McCain to attack his position and suggest that Buchanan leave the Republican party; he did and pursed instead the Reform Party Presidential nomination; Newsweek poll Summer 1999; Bush 46%, Gore 38%, and Buchanan 8%
  • George Bush, John McCain, Alan Keyes, Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer, Orrin Hatch only Republicans remaining at the commencement of the primaries
  • Bush won the Iowa caucus with 41%; afterwards Orrin Hatch withdrew
  • February 1, McCain won the New Hampshire primary, 49%–30%  over Bush
  • The South Carolina Primary benefited Bush since it was the first major closed primary in 2000 and McCain was popular among independents.
  • Accusation of mudslinging and dirty tricks (push polling) that implied that McCain’s adopted Bangladeshi-born daughter was an African-American child he fathered out of wedlock
  • February 24, McCain criticized Bush for accepting the endorsement of Bob Jones University despite its policy banning interracial dating.
  • February 28, McCain also referred to Rev. Jerry Falwell and televangelist Pat Robertson as “agents of intolerance”
  • McCain won Michigan, Arizona on February 22; Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts on Super Tuesday March 7, but withdrew from the campaign afterwards
  • March 10, Alan Keyes received 21% in Utah
  • Bush won the rest of the primaries and clinched the nomination on March 14

Democratic Party:

  • Vice President Al Gore was the front runner, former Senator Bill Bradley (New Jersey) founding member of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council was Gore main challenger;
  • Bradley ran a insurgency campaign; a positive campaign of “big ideas” planned to budget surplus for social reforms, welfare programs, campaign finance reform and gun control
  • Bradley did not do well in the Iowa Caucus, and did not have the support of the party establishment

Primary Debates:

Primary Election Republican Party

  • October 22nd, 1999 Republican Candidates Forum in Durham, New Hampshire
  • December 6th, 1999 Republican Candidates Debate in Phoenix, Arizona
  • December 13th, 1999 Republican Candidates Debate in Des Monies, Iowa

Primaries/Caucus Results:

Republican Party

Iowa (caucus) (January 24, 2000):

  • Bush 41%
  • Forbes 30%
  • Keyes 14%
  • Bauer 9%
  • McCain 5%
  • Hatch 1%

New Hampshire primary: McCain 49%; Bush 30% (Gary Bauer dropped out)

South Carolina primary February 19, 2000

  • George W. Bush 53%
  • John McCain 42%
  • Alan Keyes 5%

Super Tuesday, March 7, 2000:

  • Bush won New York, Ohio, Georgia, Missouri, California, Maryland, and Maine
  • McCain won Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts (dropped out)

Democratic Party

Iowa Caucus, January 24, 2000

  • Al Gore 63%
  • Bill Bradley 35%

New Hampshire Primary February 1

  • Al Gore 50%
  • Bill Bradley 46%

Primary/Caucus popular vote results:

Democratic Party

  • Al Gore: 10,626,568 (75.80%)
  • Bill Bradley: 2,798,281 (19.96%)
  • Lyndon LaRouche: 323,014 (2.30%)
  • Unpledged delegates: 238,870 (1.70%)

Republican Party

  • George W. Bush: 12,034,676 (62.00%) 1526
  • John McCain: 6,061,332 (31.23%) 275
  • Alan Keyes: 985,819 (5.08%) 23
  • Steve Forbes: 171,860 (0.89%) 10
  • Unpledged delegates: 61,246 (0.32%) None of the Names Shown 2 Uncommitted 1
  • Gary Bauer: 60,709 (0.31%) 2
  • Orrin Hatch: 15,958 (0.08%) 0

Primaries Results: (Delegate Totals)

Democratic Party Jul 01, 2000

Vice President Albert Gore Jr. 4328

Abstentions 9

  • Al Gore: 10,626,568, 75.80%, 3432
  • Bill Bradley: 2,798,281, 19.96%, 414
  • Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.: 323,014, 2.30%
  • Unpledged: 238,870, 1.70% Uncommited CNN Delegates Count 3
  • Angus Wheeler McDonald: 19,374, 0.14%

Republican Party Jul 01, 2000

  • George W. Bush: 12,034,676, 62.00%, 1526
  • John McCain: 6,061,332, 31.23%, 275
  • Alan L. Keyes: 985,819, 5.08%, 23
  • M.S. “Steve” Forbes: 171,860, 0.89%, 10
  • Unpledged: 61,246, 0.32%, 2
  • Gary L. Bauer: 60,709, 0.31%,
  • Others: 16,103, 0.08%, 1
  • Orrin G. Hatch: 15,958, 0.08%, 0

Conventions (Dates & Locations):

  • Republican National Convention: July 31-August 3, 2000 First Union Center; Philadelphia 1st ballot, George W. Bush (Texas) Richard B. Cheney (Wyoming)
  • Democratic National Convention: August 14-17, 2000 Staples Center; Los Angeles Terry McAuliffe (New York); Acclamation Albert A. Gore, Jr. (Tennessee) Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut)
  • Green Party’s National Nominating Convention, Denver, Colorado
  • The Natural Law Party,  Arlington, Virginia, August 31-September 2, 2000

Convention Turning Points:

Republican Nation Convention:

  • George W. Bush chose former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (Wyoming) as his running mate, although Cheney was heading his Vice Presidential search committee.
  • Cheney who also was residing in Texas for ten years, had to change back his voter registration to his home state of Wyoming, because electors could not cast votes for two candidates from their home state, the election would had resulted in a split party President and Vice President
  • The nominees were critical of the Clinton-Gore Administration, and their handling of the budget surplus, the convention made it clear that the election would be a referendum on the Clinton administration
  • Broke the tradition of “roll call” in one night, instead it was divided, over several nights to give momentum and support for Bush, Cheney’s state of Wyoming was the last state on the roll call.

Democratic National Convention:

  • Gore was the only candidate placed on the ballot
  • Gore chose as his running mate Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, a centrist
  • Lieberman was nominate unanimously
  • Lieberman was the first Jewish American nominated on a major party ticket
  • Throughout the convention Pro-life supporters, homeless, anti-globalization, and anarchist protesters demonstrated outside the hall.

Number of Ballots to Choose Nominees:

Republican National Convention:

Presidential 1st ballot

  • Gov. George W. Bush 2,058 (99.66%)
  • Alan L. Keyes 6 (0.29%)
  • Sen. John McCain 1 (0.05%)

Democratic Party Nomination:

Presidential 1st ballot

  • Al Gore: 4,328 (99.79%)
  • Abstaining: 9 (0.21%)

Vice Presidential

  • Joseph Lieberman, unanimously

Third Party Candidates & Nominations:

Green Party Nomination

President

  • Ralph Nader (District of Columbia) 295
  • Jello Biafra (California) 10
  • Stephen Gaskin (Tennessee) 10
  • Joel Kovel (New York) 3
  • Abstain  1

The Green Party appeared on 44 of the 51 ballots nationally (43 states and DC)

Libertarian Party Nomination

President

  • Harry Browne (Tennessee) 493
  • Don Gorman (New Hampshire) 166
  • Jacob Hornberger, (Virginia) 120
  • Barry Hess (Arizona) 53
  • Others 23
  • write-ins 15
  • David Hollist (California) 8

The Libertarian Party’s National Nominating Convention: Presidential, Harry Browne of Tennessee; Vice Presidential, Art Olivier of California

Browne was nominated on the first ballot and Olivier received the Vice Presidential nomination on the second ballot.

The Libertarian Party appeared on 50 of 51 ballots.

Constitution Party nomination

  • Howard Phillips (3rd nomination)
  • Herb Titus
  • Mathew Zupan

Vice President

  • Curtis Frazier (Missouri)

The Constitution Party was on the ballot in 41 states.

Natural Law Party nomination

  • John Hagelin (Iowa)
  • Nat Goldhaber (California)

Unanimous decision without a roll-call vote; party was on 38 of the 51 ballots nationally

Convention Keynote Speaker:

Republican National Convention: African American General Colin L. Powell, other speakers; Laura Bush, Jim Kolbe, gay House member

Democratic National Convention:

Nominating Speech Speakers (President):

Democratic National Convention: Nomination: Tommy Lee Jones, Tipper Gore introduction

Party Platform Issues:

  • Republican Party: “Compassionate conservatism”; use of budget surplus through tax cuts; benefit all taxpayers; opposition to gays in the military
  • Democratic Party: “Fiscal discipline, education, health care, campaign finance reform, woman’s right to choose abortion; strengthening Medicare, fighting crime, transforming the military, valuing families

General Election Controversies/Issues:

  • Referendum on the Clinton Presidency
  • Personality and character
  • Domestic issues (projected budget surplus; reforms Social Security, Medicare, health care; tax relief; the tax code, education, foreign policy (Somalia)

Campaign Innovations (General Election): 

Major Personalities (General Election): Bill Clinton;

Campaign Tactics:

Republican Party:

  • Bush promised to restore “honor and dignity” to the Presidency and White House
  • Promote bipartisanship
  • Republican Leadership Council ran pro-Nader ads to split the “liberal” vote
  • Vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney campaigned in a nationwide tour

Democratic Party:

  • Gore intended distanced himself from Bill Clinton because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and subsequent impeachment, but Gore still wanted to benefit from Clinton’s campaigning and fundraising skills.
  • Clinton was more than willing to stump for Gore, but Gore did not want the campaign and press to focus on Clinton, which may have cost him votes in the long run.
  • Focused on Bush’s gaffes and inexperience
  • Publicity pitch in final weeks to gain and convince Nader supporters that Gore supported many of the same issues and had a higher likelihood of winning the election
  • Vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman campaigned in a nationwide tour

Green Party

  • “Super-rallies” (large rallies in sports arenas with a celebrity master of ceremonies

Debates:

General Election

  • October 17, 2000 Presidential Debate in St. Louis
  • October 11, 2000 Presidential Debate in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • October 3, 2000 Presidential Debate in Boston
  • October 5, 2000 Vice-Presidential Debate in Danville, Kentucky

Turning Points (General Election):

  • Bush lead in the polls at the start of the general election and had more money for the campaign than Gore, after the Democratic convention Gore held the lead until October and the Presidential debates; Bush regained the lead but it narrowed towards the last week of the campaign where, it was dead heat between the two candidates
  • At the start of the campaign and during the Republican Nation Convention, Bill Clinton’s behavior as President was a main issue of the campaign, both prompting talking point for Republican nominee George W. Bush. However, in August, Democratic nominee Al Gore to distance himself from Clinton, and a major Bush stated in an interview that Gore would not be like Clinton, and Clinton was a non-issue in the campaign.
  • Differences in personality; Bush’s gaffes, regular-guy behavior on the campaign in interactions with press allowed his managers to sell Bush as down-to-earth, which worked well with voters in person and on TV. In contrast, Gore always seemed stiff and strained when interacting.
  • The differences between the personality of the two candidates was even more sharp during the Presidential debates, Gore’s answers on policy were sharp and knowledgeable, however, he appeared as a “smarty pants”; Bush though less precise, he appeared laid-back and more relaxed which resonated with the viewers.
  • In early November, just days before the election, police documents were leaked revealing that George W. Bush had been arrested for drunk driving in Kennebunkport, Maine in the mid 1970s. These revelations hurt Bush at the polls, and may have cost him a popular majority. Karl Rove, his chief political advisor, believes the news disillusioned millions of evangelical voters on whom Bush was counting.

Popular Campaign Slogans:

  • Democratic Party: Al Gore “Prosperity and progress.” “Prosperity for America’s families”
  • Republican Party: George W. Bush “Compassionate conservatism”; “Prosperity with a Purpose”; Reasonable Change”; Renewing America’s Purpose Together”; Prosperity and Progress”; New Kind of Republican”;  “Leave no child behind”; “Real plans for real people”; “Reformer with results”
  • Green Party: Ralph Nader “Government of, by, and for the people…not the monied interests”

Campaign Song:

  • Republican: George W. Bush: “I Won’t Back Down” (Tom Petty) (Threatened to sue Bush if he did not stop using the song. Petty then performed the song at Al Gore’s home minutes after he conceded the election.), “We the People” (Billy Ray Cyrus), “Right Now” (Van Halen)
  • Democratic: Al Gore: “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (Bachman-Turner Overdrive),”Let the Day Begin” (The Call)

Influential Campaign Appeals or Ads:

  • Republican Party: At the close of the campaign, the Republican Leadership Council ran pro-Nader ads to split the “liberal” vote in a few battleground states

Money Spent (Each Campaign/Party/Overall):

 

Defining Quotation (Winning Candidate):

  • “Our current president embodied the potential of a generation — so many talents, so much charm, such great skill. But in the end, to what end? So much promise to no great purpose.” George W. Bush, Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia
    August 3, 2000
  • “If Al Gore has differences with the president, he ought to say loud and clear what they are. I don’t think President Clinton is an issue as we go forward. There’s no question the president embarrassed the nation. Everybody knows that…Americans want to be assured that the next administration will bring honor and dignity to the White House. Are they going to hold Al Gore responsible for missed opportunities? I mean, either you’re part of an administration or you’re not part of an administration is how I view it. I think he needs to stand up and say if he thought the president were wrong on policy and issues, he ought to say where.” George W. Bush, Associated Press Interview, August 11, 2000
  • “I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation-building” George W. Bush, Second Presidential Debate
  • “The President of the United States is the President of every single American, of every race, and every background.” George W. Bush, December 13, 2000

Defining Quotation (Losing Candidate):

  • Not so long ago, a balanced budget seemed impossible. Now our budget surpluses make it possible to give a full range of targeted tax cuts to working families…. But let me say it plainly: I will not go along with a huge tax cut for the wealthy at the expense of everyone else and wreck our good economy in the process. Al Gore, Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, August 17, 2000

Further Reading:

  • Bugliosi, Vincent. The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President. Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2001
  • Posner, Richard A. Breaking the Deadlock: The 2000 Election, the Constitution, and the Courts. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2001.
  • Toobin, Jeffrey. Too Close To Call: The Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election. Random House, 2001

Elections Issues:

Florida Electoral Vote Controversy:

  • Election relatively boring until Election day “Gush and Bore”
  • Dispute over Florida’s electoral votes lasted 36 days
  • On election night Gore was leading in the popular vote by a half a million, however, the electoral votes were even closer, with neither candidate receiving a majority of 270 in the Electoral College. The election depended on the Florida’s  25 electoral votes which would have taken either candidate beyond the 270 mark.
  • The numbers fluctuated all evening and into the early night. Voter exit polls indicated a lead for Gore, and many TV news sources called the election for Gore based on early returns, however, the count shifted in Bush’s favor, prompting Gore to concede by phone to Bush, but when Bush’s lead narrowed, Gore withdrew his concession
  • The Florida vote was close enough to trigger the law for an automatic statewide recount, which gave Bush the state by less than 300 votes.
  • “butterfly ballots”: The Gore campaign discovered that there had been balloting errors in the three critical counties in the state and demanded a hand recount. Bush campaign opposed the recount
  • The Battle of the Ballots: A month ensued of disagreements about recounting the votes; filled with press conferences, lawsuits, court hearings and demonstrations
  • Gore argued that in four counties, Broward, Miami Dade, Palm Beach, and Volusia there were errors in the punch ballots caused by faulty voting machines, and that there thousands of legitimate votes that were discarded as a result of the machine’s error and if those votes were counted it would alter the election’s outcome.
  • The controversial votes were in counties where Gore had been leading; Katherine Harris, a Bush supporter, campaign worker and Florida Secretary of State refused to authorize the recount or extend the deadline to report the vote count beyond November 14; Gore appealed to the Florida Supreme Court;
  • The Florida Supreme Court unanimously sided with Gore; requiring the recount to continue and extending the deadline to November 26
  • Two of the counties commenced their recounts, but in Miami-Dade halted the recounts after pressure from “militant Republican demonstrators” just  resubmitted their originals counts claiming otherwise they would miss the deadline, and Palm Beach County missed the recount deadline.
  • On November 26, Katherine Harris and state canvassing board certified Bush the winner of the states electoral votes, by 537 votes over Gore
  • Gore and the Democrats contested the results in Florida’s Supreme Court who voted in four to three in Gore’s favor and ordered that the over 70,000 uncounted ballots in the 67 counties be reviewed in a hand count.
  • Republicans immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court claiming the recount violated Bush the 14th amendment’s equal protection of the laws.
  • December 7, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to halt the recount, held hearing and heard arguments from both sides counsel
  • On December 12 the Supreme Court issued their final decision in Bush vs. Gore, in a 5-4 ruling they halted the recount, on grounds that the there were no uniform standard to determine what was the intention of the voters in question and the recount was unconstitutional. Additionally recounts could not be completed by the December 12 “safe harbor” deadline and prior to the December 18 Electoral College vote, and therefore the certified vote would be upheld.

Lasting Legacy of Campaign:

  • First time an election was decided by the Supreme Court
  • Closest election since 1876
  • Second election after 188, where the electoral vote allowed a candidate to win the election, despite the losing candidate having won the popular vote.

 

CHRONOLOGY

  • May 27, 1997: The Supreme Court rules Paula Jones can continue pursue her sexual lawsuit against Clinton, even though he is a sitting president.  (“In a decision affecting both the scope of presidential power and the immediate future of the Clinton presidency, the Supreme Court rules that Paula Jones can pursue her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton, even while he is in office.”)
  • August 5, 1997: Clinton signs a law that would balance the budget by 2002. (“President Clinton signs legislation providing for a balanced budget by 2002, ending years of partisan wrangling between Clinton and Republican leaders.”)
  • October 3, 1997: Attorney General Janet Reno announces to Congress in a letter that the Justice department has concluded that the Clinton reelection campaign did not violate campaign finance laws in the 1996 campaign. (“Attorney General Janet Reno, in a letter to Congress, announces that the Justice Department’s investigation into allegations that the Clinton administration violated campaign finance laws, especially in its efforts to finance the 1996 presidential campaign, has uncovered no major violations.”)
  • January 20, 1998: News sources break major story that the President had a “sexual relationship” with Monica Lewinsky a former White House intern. (“News breaks that President Clinton may have had a sexual relationship with a former White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. Clinton, adamantly denying the allegations, states, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.””)
  • April 2, 1998: “A judge dismisses Paula Jones’s sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton.”
  • August 7, 1998: (“Terrorists bomb American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people, including 20 Americans. United States intelligence believes that Osama bin Laden, a Saudi exile and alleged terrorist leader, is behind the attacks.”)
  • August 20, 1998: In retaliation, President Clinton orders the military to commence air strikes at terrorist targets in Afghanistan and the Sudan. (“The U.S. military, on orders from President Clinton, launch reprisal strikes on “terrorist related facilities” in Afghanistan, bin Laden’s country of residence, and Sudan. The attacks on Sudan, however, come under particular scrutiny, as a number of international observers and members of the Sudanese government contend that the United States destroyed a civilian pharmaceutical facility, and not a chemical weapons plant, as the Clinton administration reported.”)
  • September 11, 1998: The Starr Report is released by the Office of the Independent Counsel with Kenneth Starr’s findings on the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. (“The Office of the Independent Counsel releases its report on the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, commonly known as the Starr Report. Two days earlier, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr tells the House that he has uncovered information that may be grounds for impeachment.”)
  • December 12, 1998: Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey withdraws from the Presidential race.
  • December 16, 1998: “President Clinton orders a three-day bombing attack against Iraq after Saddam Hussein refuses to cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.”
  • December 19, 1998: “The House of Representatives votes to impeach President Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.”
  • February 12, 1999: “The Senate acquits President Clinton on both articles of impeachment, rejecting one article and splitting evenly on the second.”
  • Summer 1999: Newsweek poll, Bush 46%, Gore 38%, and Buchanan 8%
  • June 12, 1999: “Gov. George W. Bush of Texas ends his shadow Presidential campaign and flies to Iowa to announce his intention to run for President. His announcement effectively inaugurated what is shaping up to be the earliest and quickest Presidential nomination processes in recent American history. He left Austin, Tex., for his first explicit campaign trip; three days in Iowa and New Hampshire.” (NYT) George Bush raises $36 million, prompts moderate many Republicans hopefuls to withdraw
  • June 16, 1999: In Carthage, Tennessee Vice President Al Gore announces his intent to run for the Presidency, pledging to ”bring a new wave of fundamental change to this nation.”
  • June 30, 1999: Prohibition Party Convention nominates Earl F. Dodge Jr.
  • September 6, 1999: The 3rd Constitution Party National Convention convenes in the Regal Riverfront Hotel in St. Louis Missouri and nominates Howard Phillips for President and Joe Sobran for Vice President. Formerly the U.S. Taxpayers Party; the party changes their name at the convention.
  • September 26, 1999: Pat Buchanan publishes a book “A Republic, Not an Empire” were he agrees with some of Hitler’s policies and argues that Germany was not a threat to the United States in 1940, and that the Western World in fact commenced the war in attempt to help Poland. Buchanan defends his book claims it is not pro-Hitler.
  • September 27, 1999: Senator John McCain of Arizona declares his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination in Nashua, New Hampshire. John McCain runs as a crusading insurgent based on campaign finance reform and honesty.
  • September 27, 1999: Dan Quayle withdraws from the Republican Presidential nomination race.
  • September 1999: McCain attacks Buchanan’s position and suggest that Buchanan leave the Republican Party. He does and instead he pursues the Reform Party Presidential nomination.
  • October 1999: Buchanan announces he is leaving the Republican Party to pursue the Reform Party nomination and calls the Republican and Democratic Parties a  “beltway party.”
  • October 16, 1999: Socialist Party Convention nominates David McReynolds for President.
  • October 22, 1999: Republican Candidates Forum in Durham, New Hampshire
  • December 6, 1999: Republican Candidates Debate in Phoenix, Arizona
  • December 13, 1999: Republican Candidates Debate in Des Moines, Iowa
  • January 24, 2000: Iowa caucuses (both parties). Iowa (caucus) Republican George W. Bush 41% John McCain 5% Alan Keyes 14% Steve Forbes 31% 9% 1% Bush wins the Iowa caucus with 41%; afterwards Orrin Hatch withdrew. Iowa (caucus) Democratic Al Gore 63% Bill Bradley 35% Others 2% Democrat Bradley did not do well in the Iowa Caucus, and does not have the support of the party establishment
  • February 1, 2000: New Hampshire primary. New Hampshire (primary) Republican George W. Bush 30% John McCain 49% Alan Keyes 6% Steve Forbes 13% 1%;  Republican candidate McCain wins the New Hampshire primary 49%–30% over Bush. New Hampshire (primary) Democratic Al Gore 50% Bill Bradley 46% Others 4% Democratic candidate Vice President Al Gore wins over Former Senator Bill Bradley
  • February 5, 2000 Delaware primary (Democrats only, Beauty contest — no delegates at stake). Delaware (primary) Democratic Al Gore 57% Bill Bradley 40% Others 3%
  • February 7, 2000: Hawaii Republican caucuses (through February 13)
    February 8, 2000: Delaware primary (Republicans only, party-run) Delaware (primary) Republican George W. Bush 51% John McCain 25% Alan Keyes 4% Steve Forbes 20% – –
  • February 18, 2000: McCain and Bush campaign biographies air in 30-minute video programs.
  • February 2000: Prior to South Carolina primary, Bush attacks McCain and implies that McCain’s adopted Bangladeshi-born daughter is an African-American child he fathered out of wedlock.
  • February 19, 2000: South Carolina Republican primary (party-run) South Carolina (primary) Republican George W. Bush 53% John McCain 42% Alan Keyes 5% – – – South Carolina Primary benefits Bush, it is the first major closed primary in 2000 and McCain popular among independents.
  • February 22, 2000: Arizona primary (Republicans only), Michigan primary (Republicans only). McCain wins Michigan, Arizona primaries. Arizona (primary) Republican George W. Bush 36% John McCain 60% Alan Keyes 4% – – – ; Michigan (primary) Republican George W. Bush 43% John McCain 50% Alan Keyes 5% – – –
  • February 23, 2000: Alaska Republican caucuses, Nevada Republican caucuses (through March 21)
  • February 24, 2000: McCain criticizes Bush for accepting the endorsement of Bob Jones University despite its policy banning interracial dating.
  • February 28, 2000: McCain refers to Rev. Jerry Falwell and televangelist Pat Robertson as “agents of intolerance.” (Senator John McCain of Arizona delivers a harsh attack on the ”self-appointed leaders” of the religious right, depicting them as intolerant empire builders who ”have turned good causes into businesses” while trying to exclude all but ”card-carrying Republicans” from the party. Mr. McCain singled out for criticism two of the Christian right’s best-known leaders, Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition, and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority.) (NYT)
  • February 29, 2000: North Dakota Republicans caucuses, Virginia primary (Republicans only), Washington primary (Democratic beauty contest — no delegates at stake)
    • Virginia (primary) Republican George W. Bush 53% John McCain 44% Alan Keyes 3%;
    • Washington (primary) Republican George W. Bush 58% John McCain 38% Alan Keyes 3%;
    • North Dakota (caucus) Republican George W. Bush 76% John McCain 19% Alan Keyes 5%
  • February 29, 2000: Washington (primary) Democratic Al Gore 68% Bill Bradley 32%
  • March 7, 2000: Super Tuesday. California primary, Connecticut primary, Georgia primary, Hawaii Democratic caucuses, Idaho Democratic caucuses, Maine primary, Maryland primary, Massachusetts primary, Missouri primary, Minnesota Republican caucuses, New York primary, North Dakota Democratic caucuses, Ohio primary, Rhode Island primary, Vermont primary, Washington caucuses (both parties)
  • March 7, 2000: Super Tuesday. Republican primaries: George W. Bush wins the majority of the Southern primaries; John McCain wins Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, but withdrew from the campaign afterwards.
    • California (primary) Republican George W. Bush 61% 35% 4%
    • Connecticut (primary) Republican George W. Bush 46% 49% 3%
    • Georgia (primary) Republican George W. Bush 67% 28% 5%
    • Maine (primary) Republican George W. Bush 51% John McCain 44% Alan Keyes 3%
    • Maryland (primary) Republican George W. Bush 56% John McCain 36% Alan Keyes 7%
    • Massachusetts (primary) Republican George W. Bush 32% John McCain 65% 3%
    • Missouri (primary) Republican George W. Bush 58% John McCain 35% Alan Keyes 6%
    • New York (primary) Republican George W. Bush 51% John McCain 43% Alan Keyes 4%
    • Ohio (primary) Republican George W. Bush 58% John McCain 37% Alan Keyes 4%
    • Rhode Island (primary) Republican George W. Bush 36% John McCain 60% Alan Keyes 3%
    • Vermont (primary) Republican George W. Bush 36% John McCain 61% Alan Keyes 3%
    • Minnesota (caucus) Republican George W. Bush 63% John McCain 17%Alan Keyes  20%
    • Washington (caucus) Republican George W. Bush 80% John McCain 15% Alan Keyes 4%
  • March 7, 2000: Super Tuesday. Democratic primaries.
    • California (primary) Democratic Al Gore 81% Bill Bradley 18% Others 1%;
    • Connecticut (primary) Democratic Al Gore 55% Bill Bradley 42% Others 3%;
    • Georgia (primary) Democratic Al Gore 84% Bill Bradley 16%;
    • Missouri (primary) Democratic Al Gore 64% Bill Bradley 33% Others 1.55%; Rhode Island (primary) Democratic Al Gore 56% Bill Bradley 40% Others 2.72%;
    • Massachusetts (primary) Democratic Al Gore 59% Bill Bradley 37% Others 3.05%;
    • Maryland (primary) Democratic Al Gore 67% Bill Bradley 28% Others 4.23%
    • Maine (primary) Democratic Al Gore 54% Bill Bradley 41% Others 4.72%;
    • Ohio (primary) Democratic Al Gore 73% Bill Bradley 24% Others 1.69%;
    • New York (primary) Democratic Al Gore 65% Bill Bradley 33% Others 0.92%;
    • Vermont (primary) Democratic Al Gore 54% Bill Bradley 43% Others 1.79%
  • March 9, 2000: South Carolina Democratic caucuses (party-run, “firehouse” primary
  • March 10, 2000: Colorado primary, Utah primary, Wyoming Republican caucuses Republican candidate Alan Keyes receives 21% of the vote in Utah’s Republican primary. Colorado (primary) Democratic Al Gore 71% Bill Bradley 23% Others 5.29%; Utah (primary) Democratic Al Gore 79% Bill Bradley 20%
  • March 11, 2000: Arizona Democratic caucuses, Michigan Democratic caucuses, Minnesota Democratic caucuses. Arizona (primary) Democratic Al Gore 77% Bill Bradley 18% Others 3.23%
    March 12, 2000: Nevada Democratic caucuses
  • March 14, 2000: Florida primary, Louisiana primary, Mississippi primary, Oklahoma primary, Tennessee primary, Texas primary (both parties & Democratic caucuses).
    • Florida (primary) Republican George W. Bush 74% John McCain 20% Alan Keyes 5%; Bush clinches the Republican Party Presidential nomination.
    • Tennessee (primary) Democratic Al Gore 92% Bill Bradley 5% Others 2.61%;
    • Florida (primary) Democratic Al Gore 81% Bill Bradley 18%; Mississippi (primary) Democratic Al Gore 89% Bill Bradley 8% Others 1.78%;
    • Oklahoma (primary) Democratic Al Gore 68% Bill Bradley 25% Others 5.85%
    • Louisiana (primary) Democratic Al Gore 72% Bill Bradley 19% Others 7.13%
    • Texas (primary) Democratic Al Gore 80% Bill Bradley 16% Others 3.42%
  • March 18, 2000: Kentucky Republican caucuses
  • March 21, 2000: Illinois primary. Democratic Al Gore 84% Bill Bradley 14% Others 1.41%
  • March 25, 2000: Wyoming Democratic caucuses
  • March 27, 2000: Delaware Democratic caucuses
  • March 31, 2000: American Party Convention nominates Don Rogers for President.
  • April 4, 2000: Pennsylvania primary, Wisconsin primary
    • Pennsylvania (primary) Democratic Al Gore 74% Bill Bradley 20% Others 4.98%;
    • Wisconsin (primary) Democratic Al Gore 88% Bill Bradley 8% Others 2.69%
  • April 15, 2000: Virginia Democratic caucuses (& April 17)
  • April 22, 2000: Alaska Democratic caucuses
  • May 2, 2000: Indiana primary, North Carolina primary.
    • North Carolina (primary) Democratic Al Gore 70% Bill Bradley 18% Others 11.28%
    • Indiana (primary) Democratic Al Gore 74% Bill Bradley 21% Others 3.15%
  • May 6, 2000: Kansas Democratic caucuses
  • May 9, 2000: Nebraska primary, West Virginia primary
    • West Virginia (primary) Democratic Al Gore 72% Bill Bradley 18% Others 9.55%;
    • Nebraska (primary) Democratic Al Gore 69% Bill Bradley 26% Others 3.56%
  • May 16, 2000: Oregon primary
  • May 23, 2000: Arkansas primary, Idaho primary (Republicans only), Kentucky primary (Democrats only)  Kentucky (primary) Democratic Al Gore 71% Bill Bradley 14% Others 14.06%
  • May 25, 2000: Kansas Republican convention
  • June 6, 2000: Alabama primary, Montana primary, New Jersey primary, New Mexico primary, South Dakota primary (Kentucky (primary) Democratic Al Gore 74% Bill Bradley 20%)
  • June 25, 2000: Green Party’s National Nominating Convention convenes in  Denver, Colorado. The convention nominates Ralph Nader for President.
  • July 3, 2000: Libertarian Party Convention nominates Harry Browne for President.
  • July 25, 2000: Arizona Libertarian Party Convention nominates L. Neil Smith for President.
  • July 31-August 3, 2000: Republican National Convention convenes at First Union Center; Philadelphia and nominates on the 1st ballot George W. Bush (Texas) for President and Richard B. Cheney (Wyoming) for Vice President. The convention makes it clear that the election would be a referendum on the Clinton administration. George W. Bush chooses former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (Wyoming) as his running mate, although Cheney was heading his Vice Presidential search committee. Broke the tradition of “roll call” in one night, instead it is divided over several nights to give momentum and support for Bush, Cheney’s state of Wyoming was the last state on the roll call.
  • August 3, 2000: George W. Bush accepts the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
  • August 2000: Democratic nominee Al Gore distances himself from Clinton
  • August 11, 2000: Bush states in an Associated Press interview that Gore would not be like Clinton, and Clinton is a non-issue in the campaign.
  • August 14-17, 2000: Democratic National Convention convenes in the Staples Center, Los Angeles. Terry McAuliffe (New York) serves as chairman. The convention nominates by acclamation Albert A. Gore, Jr. (Tennessee) for President and Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut) for Vice President. Gore is the only candidate placed on the ballot. Gore chooses as his running mate Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, a centrist. Lieberman is nominated unanimously. Lieberman is the first Jewish American nominated on a major party ticket.
  • August 14-17, 2000: Throughout the convention Pro-life supporters, homeless, anti-globalization, and anarchist protesters demonstrate outside the hall.
  • After the Democratic convention Gore holds the lead in the polls
  • August 19, 2000: Reform Party Convention nominates Patrick J. “Pat” Buchanan
  • August 19, 2000: Reform Party Convention (Mangia Faction) nominates John Hagelin for President.
  • August 31-September 2, 2000: The Natural Law Party Convention convenes in Hotel Alexandria Mark Center, Alexandria, Virginia and nominates John Hagelin Iowa for President and Nat Goldhaber Calfornia for Vice-President.
  • Bush leads in the polls at the start of the general election and has more money for the campaign than Gore
  • October 3, 2000: First Presidential Debate in Boston: The differences between the personalities of the two candidates are even sharper during the debates. Gore’s answers on policy are sharp and knowledgeable; however, he appears as a “smarty pants.” Bush though less precise, he appears laid-back and more relaxed which resonated with the viewers.
  • October 5, 2000: Vice-Presidential Debate in Danville, Kentucky
  • October 11, 2000: Second Presidential Debate in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • October 17, 2000: Third Presidential Debate in St. Louis
  • Bush regains the lead in the polls
  • November 2000: Dead heat between the two candidates in the polls
  • November 3, 2000: Police documents are leaked revealing that George W. Bush has been arrested for drunk driving in 1976 in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush admits to the 1976 drunk driving charges at a press conference ”I’m not proud of that,  I’ve oftentimes said that years ago I made some mistakes. I drank too much, and I did on that night. I regret that it happened, but it did. I’ve learned my lesson.” (NYT)
  • These revelations hurt Bush at the polls, and may have cost him a popular majority. Karl Rove, his chief political advisor, believes the news disillusioned millions of evangelical voters on whom Bush was counting on to vote for him.
  • November 7, 2000: Election Day; the numbers fluctuate all evening and into the early night. Voter exit polls indicate a lead for Gore, and many TV news sources call the election for Gore based on early returns.
  • November 7, 2000: 7:50 pm EST: Associated Press and news outlets call Florida for Gore.
  • November 7, 2000 9:30 pm: Florida looks more uncertain as the vote are counted, with more votes going to Bush.
  • November 7, 2000 10 pm: News outlets retract from their Florida projection for Gore; becomes too close to call. The election depends on Florida’s 25 electoral votes, which would have taken either candidate beyond the 270 mark.
  • November 8, 2000: 12:09 am. EST: Gore leads in the popular vote by a half a million, however, the electoral votes are even closer, with neither candidate receiving a majority of 270 in the Electoral College. Electoral vote stands at Bush 246, Gore 241, Undecided 51.
  • November 8, 2000, 2:17 am.: News outlets shift and call both Florida and a few minutes later the election for Bush. The Electoral count shifts in Bush’s favor, Electoral Vote Count: Bush 271; Gore 248; Undecided 19; Not Allocated 0
  • November 8, 2000, 2:30 am Gore concedes the election by phone to Bush.
  • November 8, 2000, 3:00 am: Gore goes from his Nashville hotel to address his supporters at Memorial Plaza and give a concession speech.
  • November 8, 2000, 3:15 am: Bush’s lead in Florida narrows, there is now only 1000 votes that separate the two candidates in Florida, prompts Gore to return to his hotel.
  • November 8, 2000, 3:30 am: Gore returns to his hotel without addressing his supporters and calls back Bush and withdraws his concession
  • November 8, 2000, 3:58 am: Bush’s lead narrows, Florida retracted from Bush
  • November 8, 2000, 3:57 and 4:15 am: New outlets retract that Bush has won Florida and the election, Florida becomes undecided
  • November 8, 2000 AM: The final margin in Florida is 1,784 votes; Bush leads Gore 2,909,135 (48.8%) to 2,907,351 (48.8%) others 139,616 votes (2.4%); The Florida vote is close enough to trigger the law for an automatic statewide recount, which gives Bush the state by less than 300 votes.
  • The Battle of the Ballots: A month ensued of disagreements about recounting the votes; filled with press conferences, lawsuits, court hearings and demonstrations
  • November 9, 2000: Gore argues that in four counties, Broward, Miami Dade, Palm Beach, and Volusia there were errors in the punch ballots caused by faulty voting machines, and that there thousands of legitimate votes that were discarded as a result of the machine’s error and if those votes were counted it would alter the election’s outcome.  (“butterfly ballots”)  The Gore campaign demands a hand recount; the Bush campaign opposes the recount. The controversial votes were in counties where Gore leading.
  • November 10, 2000: New Mexico is retracted from Gore, and Oregon goes to Gore.
  • November 11, 2000: “Bush campaign seeks a federal injunction to stop the ballot recount Gore requested in the Florida counties “because of alleged equal protection and other constitutional violations.”
  • November 12, 2000: Palm Beach County announces it is extending the hand  recount countywide. Florida’s Volusia County begins the hand counting of ballots.
  • November 13, 2000 9:00 am: Katherine Harris, a Bush supporter, campaign worker and Florida Secretary of State refuses to authorize the recount or extend the deadline to report the vote count beyond November 14, 2000 at 5:00 pm.
  • November 13, 2000: U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks rejects Bush’s request to bar the hand recount in certain Florida counties.
  • November 14, 2000 Afternoon: “Circuit Judge Terry Lewis upholds 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline for Florida vote certification.”
  • November 14, 2000 Evening: “Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris announces that Bush leads Gore by 300 votes based on returns submitted by all 67 counties.”
  • November 15, 2000: Florida Attorney General Katherine Harris files a suit to the Florida Supreme requesting that they counties be required to cease their hand recounts, the Bush Campaign joins in the suit. Gore appeals to the Florida Supreme Court; Gore campaign threatens to request full state recount if the four requested counties not be allowed to continue with their hand recount. Florida Supreme Court unanimously sides with Gore. Bush refuses both Gore request to a face to face meeting, and hand recount of all Florida’s ballots.
  • ?Gore and the Democrats contest the results in Florida’s Supreme Court, who vote in four to three in Gore’s favor and order that the over 70,000 uncounted ballots in the 67 counties be reviewed in a hand count.
  • November 15, 2000 Evening: Secretary of State Harris announces she will not consider further returns from counties that are recounting their ballots (passed the original deadline?).
  • November 16, 2000: “Gore campaign files an emergency motion in Leon County state court challenging the certification of the results of the Florida presidential election.  Florida Supreme Court rules that Palm Beach County can proceed with a manual recount of ballots.” Palm Beach begins recount almost momentarily after the decision.
  • November 17, 2000 Midnight: Deadline for overseas absentee ballots to be received
  • November 17, 2000: “Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis upholds Florida Secretary of State Kathrine Harris’ decision to reject late vote tallies resulting from manual recounts.” “Florida Supreme Court bars Harris from certifying the state’s presidential winner “until further order of this court” and set a Monday hearing on the recount dispute.” “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denies a Bush team request to stop manual recounts on constitutional grounds.”
  • November 18, 2000: “Bush’s lead over Gore in Florida triples to 930 votes after overseas absentee ballots are included.”
  • November 19, 2000: “Miami-Dade County begins a manual recount.”
  • November 20, 2000: “The Florida Supreme Court hears recount arguments from both the Gore and Bush camps regarding whether Secretary of State Harris should consider hand-recounted ballots before she certifies results of the presidential election (Palm Beach Canvassing Board v. Harris).
  • November 21, 2000: “The Florida Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, rules that that manual recounts may continue and that the totals must be included in the final results.” Court decides the recount can continue and they extend the deadline to November 26, 2000 or early Nov. 27.”
  • November 22, 2000: “Bush files petition for certiorari in United States Supreme Court, asking for review of Florida Supreme Court ruling.” “Judge Jorge Labarga rules that so-called “dimpled chads” cannot be summarily excluded from the Palm Beach manual recount.” Miami-Dade halts the recounts after pressure from “militant Republican demonstrators” and just resubmits their originals counts claiming that otherwise they would miss the deadline.
  • November 23, 2000: “On Thanksgiving Day, Al Gore’s campaign files papers with the Florida Supreme Court, asking the judges to force Miami-Dade County to resume its manual recount. The Florida Supreme Court rejects Gore request.”
  • November 24, 2000: “The U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments in an appeal from George W. Bush on Florida Supreme Court’s November 21 ruling that selective manual recounts must be included in the state’s final presidential tally. The hearing set for December 1.”
  • November 25, 2000: “Bush drops his lawsuit to force Florida counties to reconsider overseas military ballots that were rejected for technical reasons.”
  • November 26, 2000: Palm Beach County misses the recount deadline, Secretary of State Katherine Harris declines the county’s request to extend the deadline, 1000 votes are not recounted. Katherine Harris and state canvassing board certify Bush the winner of the states electoral votes, by 537 votes over Gore. “Governor Jeb Bush signs the Certificate of Ascertainment designating 25 Florida electors pledged to George W. Bush and transmits the document to the National Archives as required by Title 3, U.S. Code, Section 6.”
  • November 27, 2000: “Al Gore files an election contest action under Florida Election Code section 102.168, challenging the vote counts in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Nassau counties.” Bush lawyers files a motion to prevent Gore’s legal arguments from being heard.
  • November 28, 2000: “Democrats ask Leon County Circuit Court Judge N. Saunders Sauls to authorize an immediate recount of about 14,000 disputed ballots. Judge Sauls orders the disputed ballots, sample voting booths, and voting machines from Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties brought to his courtroom in Tallahassee by Friday.”
  • November 29, 2000: “Deadline for briefs to be filed before the U.S. Supreme Court on Bush appeal of Florida Supreme Court’s ruling selective manual recounts.”
  • November 30, 2000: “Deadline for replies to be filed before the U.S. Supreme Court on Bush appeal of Florida Supreme Court’s ruling on selective manual recounts.” “Democrats file papers in the Florida Supreme Court asking the Democratic justices to order an immediate hand recount of some 14,000 disputed ballots in two heavily Democratic Florida counties.”
  • Republicans immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court claiming the recount violated Bush the 14th amendment’s equal protection of the laws.
  • December 1, 2000: “U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Bush challenge on constitutional grounds of Florida Supreme Court’s ruling on selective manual recounts. (Bush v. Palm Beach Canvassing Board)” Florida Supreme Courts rejects Gore request to recount by hand ballots from Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta agrees to hear cases objecting to the hand recounts, and arguing they are unconstitutional.
  • December 2, 2000: “Florida Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls holds a trial to consider Gore’s request for a hand count of 14,000 contested ballots Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.”
  • December 4, 2000: “U.S. Supreme Court rules in Bush v. Palm Beach Canvassing Board, vacating the order of the Florida Supreme Court and remanding for clarification the Florida Supreme Court’s November 21 decision on recount deadlines.” “Florida Judge N. Sanders Sauls rules against Gore, refuses Gore’s request to overturn George W. Bush’s certified statewide victory.”
  • December 6, 2000: Atlanta 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denies Bush appeal to throw out manual recounts in three Florida counties.
  • December 7, 2000: “Florida Supreme Court hears arguments from both Al Gore and George W. Bush’s lawyers in the vice president’s appeal of Florida Circuit Court Judge Sauls’ ruling.”
  • December 8, 2000: “The Florida Supreme Court, in 4-3 split decision, reverses lower court rejection of Gore contest, ordering statewide manual recounts of undervotes.”  “Leon County Circuit Court Judges Terry Lewis and Nikki Clark refuse to throw out any of the 25,000 absentee ballots challenged by the Gore camp in Martin and Seminole counties.” “Bush seeks stays before the Florida Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court and additionally petitions the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari.”
  • December 9, 2000: “Florida begins a statewide manual recount of the undervote ballots.” “Florida Supreme Court denies Bush’s application for a stay.” “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta similarly denies Bush’s emergency motion to stop the recount, but orders Florida officials not to change his previously certified 537-vote lead.” The Supreme Court votes 5-4 to halt the recount, held hearing and heard arguments from both sides counsel
  • December 11, 2000: “U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Gore v. Bush. on the Florida recount”
  • December 12, 2000 12:10 pm: the Supreme Court issues their final decision in Bush vs. Gore, in a 7-2 ruling they halt the recount, on grounds that the there were no uniform standard to determine what was the intention of the voters in question and the recount was unconstitutional. Additionally recounts could not be completed by the December 12 “safe harbor” deadline and prior to the December 18 Electoral College vote, and therefore the certified vote would be upheld.
  • December 13, 2000: Al Gore gives a nationally telecast concession and George W. Bush gives his acceptance speech.
  • December 18, 2000: Presidential Electors meet to cast the electoral votes in their state capitols.
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