Gore's lead tops 500,000 votes

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From: Rohit Khare (Rohit@KnowNow.com)
Date: Fri Dec 29 2000 - 23:40:39 PST

[The 2000 census redistricting would have added 8 electoral votes to
Bush's total in the 31 states he won. I gotta admit whatever you
thought of Gore, the map looked awful red with all those big square
states and the entire South going to Bush... Rohit]

  December 30, 2000
Gore's Lead in the Popular Vote Now Exceeds 500,000
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 - Vice President Al Gore's nationwide lead in the
popular vote has grown by about 200,000, to more than half a million,
since Dec. 18, when the Electoral College sealed his fate and made
Gov. George W. Bush the 43rd president of the United States.

A state-by-state survey by The Associated Press of the final
certified results put Mr. Gore's popular vote edge at 539,947, up
considerably from the lead of about 337,000 that was widely reported
in the first several weeks after the election. The totals were
50,996,116 for Mr. Gore and 50,456,169 for Mr. Bush.

Much of the increase came in California, New York, and other, smaller
states that went for Mr. Gore, said Curtis B. Gans of the Committee
for the Study of the American Electorate, a nonpartisan research
group that has followed presidential elections for a quarter-century.

Election officials in California and New York said today that the
bigger numbers for Mr. Gore were not hard to explain. Mr. Gore
carried both states easily. Both had large numbers of absentee
ballots, which could not be counted immediately, and, because
absentee votes generally do not vary sharply from election night
returns, it was predictable that the absentees would widen the vice
president's lead.

Mr. Gans said that in 1996, President Clinton's lead over Bob Dole
grew by some 200,000 votes from election night until all absentee
ballots were counted and all the votes certified, a fact all but
forgotten except by political trivia buffs.

"But it didn't matter," Mr. Gans said, in a race that the incumbent
won by more than eight million popular votes and by a 379-to-159
advantage in the Electoral College.

In the 1960 election John F. Kennedy had the electoral vote edge and
a 114,673-vote margin in the popular vote over Richard M. Nixon. A
total of 68.8 million votes were cast for president. Eight years
later Mr. Nixon won the Electoral College and a popular vote margin
of 510,645 out of 73.2 million votes cast for president.

The 2000 election, of course, will be remembered as the first in 112
years in which the leader in the popular vote lost the White House
because his opponent prevailed in the Electoral College.

Mr. Bush got 271 electoral votes, one more than he needed for a
majority and five more than Mr. Gore, who lost one vote in the
Electoral College when a Washington, D.C., elector left her ballot
blank to protest the District of Columbia's lack of voting power in

Mr. Gore won New York State, 4,107,697 to 2,403,374, or by some 1.7
million votes. Lee Daghlian, the chief spokesman for the state's
Board of Elections, said today that about 360,000 absentee ballots
were requested, and that about 260,000 were returned in time to be
counted. In New York, absentee ballots must be postmarked no later
than the day before the election and received no later than a week
after the election.

Mr. Daghlian said absentee balloting was about 20 percent higher this
year than in 1996. He speculated that the presence of Senator Joseph
I. Lieberman of Connecticut on the Democratic ticket might have
caused more American Jews to mail ballots from Israel.

It was clear on election night that Mr. Gore had carried California
in a landslide, so it was expected that the nearly 1.5 million
absentee ballots that arrived in time to be accepted would sharply
augment his victory - and they did.

The final certified totals in California were 5,861,203 for Mr. Gore
and 4,567,429 for Mr. Bush. Alfie Charles, a spokesman for the
California secretary of state, Bill Jones, said that the percentage
of Californians voting by absentee ballot had been increasing, and
that about one-quarter now did. (Californians can vote absentee
without showing a compelling reason. Their ballots must arrive by
Election Day to be counted.)

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