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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:33 am 
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I wrote this a long time ago, but wanted to repost because of all the talk about the Election of 2000. Gore would have won had he won his home state. He actually lost eleven of the blue states that Clinton had won in 1996. Many people have been misinformed about that election.!F3D4C1BC1D8B0D91!343.entry


With the news that Ralph Nader is becoming a candidate in Election 2008 came endless news accounts of how he caused Gore to lose Florida and thus the Presidency. No matter what channel I turn to, I keep hearing essentially this same story line over and over again. But in describing the Election of 2000, the media continues to leave out a critical part of the story.

Al Gore lost the Electoral Collage vote by the tally of 271 to 266 (he would have had 267, but an elector from D.C. withheld a vote in protest). Because he needed 270 to win and the Constitution mandates that no state or the District has less than three electoral votes, this means that had Al Gore won one more state - any state - he would have been the 43rd President.

Florida was just a mess. Not only did we have the badly designed ballots that clearly left some people who intended to vote for Gore with their votes uncounted. But in addition, the network gurus started calling the election at 7 PM Eastern - before the polls in the western part of the state were closed (Florida spans two time zones). We'll never really know for sure exactly what would have happened in the state had everything gone right. And in this most narrow contest, Ralph Nader's votes, if given to Gore, would have allowed him to become President by winning the state. And this part is all the media focuses on.

But, Florida was not the only state that Gore lost that night rather narrowly. He also lost his home state of Tennessee. In the entire history of the United States, only two men have managed to win a Presidential Election contest without winning their home state (Polk and Wilson). And if Al Gore had taken care of business at home, Florida wouldn't have mattered. He would have won the Electoral College vote by a margin of 277 to 260 - even with the D.C. elector refusing to vote.

What especially is striking about this home state loss is the fact that Gore's father, Al Gore Sr., represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate for 18 years. Gore the son then served Tennessee for eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives and then was elected to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate. Bill Clinton and Al Gore twice carried the state in their 1992 and 1996 Presidential Campaigns.

But, in 2000, with over two million votes cast, Gore lost to Bush by more than 80,000 votes. Another Nader spoiler here? No. In fact, there were nine different candidates on the Tennessee ballot in 2000, in addition to several hundred write-in candidates. And even if Al Gore had gotten every vote cast for every other candidate other than George W. Bush, he still would have lost his home state by 47,717 votes.

I have nothing against Al Gore. For what it's worth, it seems like he's had a pretty good life for the last seven years, and though I disagree with him on many issues, I'm glad he seems to have moved on with his life. But to peg him as some sort of a victim against a big, bad, Republican conspiracy is not an accurate description of why he lost that election. Even if there had been some plot to print the ballots in Democratic Florida counties in Chinese, to let loose live alligators in front of Democratic polling stations, burn half the ballots and play other dirty tricks, none of it would have mattered had Gore won Tennessee. He would have been the President and would have had executive authority to prosecute any wrongdoing that had occurred in the election.

For the record, I am not excusing any improper acts that take place during elections. I think that whenever someone improperly influences an election - in either direction - they and all involved should be prosecuted. No one wins when all the votes aren't properly counted. But I am saying that this isn't an excuse that explains away why Al Gore lost in 2000. To hear some Democrats tell the story, it was about a bunch of crooked Republicans in Florida and a crazy man named Nader who sabotaged America. And in describing the story with Al Gore purely in the role of a victim, they are missing an important point that all politicians need to keep in mind.

And the lesson I hope the pols take away from that election is this: take care of your own business. Stop worrying about trying to force the other guy out of the race or to stop this or that person from running. You have to win your own battles and the hearts of the voters and stop aiming to be the winner by default by virtue of the voters having no other options than you. Ralph Nader didn't actually prevent Gore from winning, because had he had won at home, neither Nader, Bush, or anyone else would have stopped him from winning it all.

The Values Voter

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:02 am 
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A lot of Northeners moved here and not most of them are democrats. They are mostly republicans. I was not born here and I lived here since 1984. I came from Ill. It's plausible that these new folks did not like the man. The influx of people from all over is still going on and the economy here is not suffering as it is elsewhere. Take this into consideration when you read about the Tn rejection of Al Gore.

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