Any outcome to the 2000 recount election that wouldn't have one side crying foul?

Many liberals claim the 2000 presidential election was “stolen.” Whether that’s true or not isn’t the point of this thread, although I’m interested in the rationale.

The question is - is there any ballot-recount Bush-victory-becomes-Gore-victory scenario in which conservatives wouldn’t be claiming the election was “stolen?”

Either way, ONE side’s supporters were bound to feel unjustly defeated, right?



I agree. There were various recount procedures that could have been used and some of them would have given Florida to either candidate. So supporters of both candidates would have been able to argue that they would have won the election if the “right” procedure had been used.

Call a do-over in Florida?

Including Florida, there were six different states where the margin of victory for either Bush or Gore was <1.5%. Had there been recount battles in all of them and the results flipped, Bush would have had enough electoral votes to win without Florida.

Thank your lucky stars Florida was the only state where the results ended up in court.

Wasn’t it the case that:

Had the recount been done per Gore’s proposed method, Bush wins.

Had the recount been done per Bush’s proposed method, Gore wins.

I know that wouldn’t necessarily stop either side from crying foul, but it sorta puts a certain “be careful what you wish for” spin on it.

Depends what you mean by “any outcome”. If the margin had been large enough (in either direction) that no recount was necessary, or if there were a recount but it agreed with the original count by all standards, then I don’t think either side would have complained about it being “stolen”.

Given the votes we actually had, though, I think that not only would either side have complained about it being “stolen”, I think that either side would actually have been somewhat justified in that complaint. The vote in Florida, and hence also in the electoral college, was for all practical purposes a tie, and so the fair result (if it were possible, which of course it isn’t) would be for both candidates to half-win. But with the system we have, we instead got one candidate who won completely, and one candidate who didn’t win at all.

I recall reading a book that made the argument that election (and Al Franken’s) was effectively a statistical tie, with there being definite issues at multiple levels that would potentially swing things the other direction. I’m not sure what he suggested we do about it, unless he thought that holding the election again would produce a different result. In some cases it might have, but it’s not necessarily the case that you’re not going to end up with another statistical tie.


I think the liberals like to feel butthurt about this election especially when the national popular vote is taken into account: Bush (50,456,002) vs. Gore (50,999,897)

I also think the SCOTUS made a mistake in jumping into the fray and tarnishing their reputation and I also think this added to the whole stolen meme.

Whatever… If it had gone the other way, the narrative would have been much the same.

The winning candidate’s margin of victory was smaller than the margin of error in the process itself so there was no way somebody wouldn’t have been crying foul. No one is going to admit , “Hey, we just don’t know.”

There’s no outcome AFTER the fact that would have satisfied everyone, but if there had been no butterfly ballot in Palm Beach Gore wins Florida by 10,000 votes or so.

Some angry laidoff auto worker shoots Nader and Al Gore less of a cuck and decides to put Bill Clinton on the campaign trail. Dems win 51-48, carrying Florida, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

It’s sad, because there are SO many single things Gore could have done to win that he failed to do. GWB’s election was a perfect storm of suck. Of course, Nader could probably have helped too by staying out. And Clinton could have helped by being less of a mental case. We talk about politicians being crazy a lot, and we overuse the term, but it’s strange that few have ever applied it to a pretty clear example of uncontrollable, pathological behavior that Clinton engaged in, and by many accounts, still engages in today. We can blame Gore all we want for trying to distance himself from Clinton, but it’s Clinton’s fault that Gore was faced with that choice. Clinton stays loyal to his wife and Gore wins in a landslide in 2000.

Had the US SCt not taken the case, the Republicans would have been just as convinced that the Florida SCt had engineered a victory for its preferred candidate. It was one of the legal arguments put forward by the Bush camp, that the Florida SCt violated state election law.

Also, several major news outlets announced that Florida’s polls had closed and called the state for Gore, while voting in the predominantly Republican panhandle (where it’s Central Time) was still open. Had the recount gone the other way, the possibility that the networks depressed Republican turnout would have been the counterpart to the butterfly ballots.

You’re right on that first part. I do disagree tho that Clinton’s affair killed Gore. It did hurt him, but it wasn’t mortal. What was mortal was:

  1. thinking in a close contests, he was gonna win a state controlled by his opponents brother and campaign manager as Florida SOS. An idiot could tell that deck would be rigged against him. A headfake there, OK, but only that.
  2. Gore spent no money in West Virginia; that state voted not only Bill Clinton twice (by large margins) but Jimmy freaking Carter twice (yes, even in 1980)!
  3. Knowing that FL was rigged before the game began, Gore shoulda spent just a little more money/time in NH, OH, MO, or WV; his states won totaled 267 electoral votes (the official tallies say 266 because of a faithless protest elector). All states and DC have 3 minimum EVs; any other state in the union woulda made Gore president.
  4. and with regard to Bill, Gore shoulda done with Bill’s economic record (or perception of record depending on how you wanna see it) what Bill just did in West Virginia: be cryptic but still tout the record. Bill referred to Obama as “the admin in Washington.” Gore coulda done something like that but he didn’t.

I wonder what this presages for the future.

In many countries the loser’s side sues and or takes to the streets claiming fraud in many if not all elections.

If 1.5% is “too close to have an actual factual statistically reliable outcome.”, then are the teams going to start demanding recounts and suing in every jurisdiction where the other side’s margin of victory is <3%?

After all, if a 3% loss can be recounted into a 1.5% loss and that can be argued to be a dead heat, then why not go for it? Because winning is the only thing that matters and the other team is not a loyal opposition; they’re traitors to all we hold dear.

The Obama elections were decisive enough (thankfully) that this issue didn’t arise. There’s no assurance this one, or the next one, will be that way.

So, what procedures have been put in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again?

Sure there is – W concedes gracefully on election night.

“We have won 271 electoral votes. I concede defeat.” :rolleyes:

What Velocity said. A winner cannot grant the Presidency to the loser. Bush was leading when the counting stopped. If Bush concedes, Dick Cheney becomes President.