Humanities › Issues 2000 Presidential Election of George W. Bush vs. Al Gore Pregnant Chads, Florida Recounts, and More Share Flipboard Email Print Mark Wilson/Getty Images Issues The U. S. Government Campaigns & Elections History & Major Milestones U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights U.S. Legal System U.S. Political System Income Tax & The IRS Defense & Security Consumer Awareness Business & Finance U.S. Foreign Policy U.S. Liberal Politics U.S. Conservative Politics Women's Issues Civil Liberties The Middle East Terrorism Race Relations Immigration Crime & Punishment Animal Rights Canadian Government View More By Martin Kelly History Expert M.A., History, University of Florida B.A., History, University of Florida Martin Kelly, M.A., is a history teacher and curriculum developer. He is the author of "The Everything American Presidents Book" and "Colonial Life: Government." our editorial process Martin Kelly Updated May 24, 2019 The U.S. presidential election of 2000 is remembered for many things, including pregnant chads, a desperate appeal to the Supreme Court, and most Americans questioning the integrity of their voting system. In light of all the unexpected events, it's interesting to take a step back and look at the contest from a more objective perspective. For example, when was the last time a candidate won the presidency after losing the popular vote (before it happened again in 2016)? 2000 Presidential Election Trivia Before the 2000 election, the last time the president won the electoral vote without winning the popular vote was in 1888. Grover Cleveland beat Benjamin Harrison by 0.8% in the popular vote, but Harrison won the election.Bush won 1,803 more counties than Gore won.One of the electors from DC abstained from voting for Gore.Because of the controversy over the recount in Florida, the Gore campaign sued to have a manual recount.The recount in Florida taught Americans the difference between a "hanging chad" (a ballot punch-out that was hanging at one corner) and a "pregnant chad" (a dimple in the ballot paper). The results of the 2000 and, later, the 2016 election have led many Americans and legislators to support alternative voting systems, such as the National Popular Vote Plan, that would ensure that the winner of the most popular votes would also win the election. The Candidates The 2000 election was uncommon not just for the close contest, but also the presence of a significant third-party candidate. Ralph Nader garnered a sizable, if proportionately small, vote, convincing many voters that there were no longer substantial differences between the Democrats and Republicans in contemporary politics. Here are the candidates for the leading parties on the ballot: Republican Party: George W. Bush and Richard CheneyDemocratic Party: Albert Gore Jr. and Joseph LiebermanGreen Party: Ralph Nader and Winona LaDukeReform Party: Patrick Buchanan and Ezola FosterLibertarian Party: Harry Browne and Art Olivier The Issues Was Ralph Nader right, or did the Republicans and Democrats represent markedly different sides of the major election issues? Here are just of few of the hottest topics of debate in the election: EducationBush: Comprehensive package calling for more choice and accountabilityGore: Smaller class sizes with rigorous methods for hiring and retaining teachersSocial SecurityBush: Personal retirement accounts with SS moneyGore: Give parents raising children SS creditHealth CareBush: Strengthen Medicare with private sector alternativesGore: 1/6 of the budget surplus over 15 years used to strengthen Medicare The Results Memorably, Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election. That's because American presidents are elected by the Electoral College rather than the overall number of votes. The popular vote was won by Gore-Lieberman by 543,816 votes. The results of the popular vote: Bush-Cheney: 50,460,110Gore-Lieberman: 51,003,926Nader-LaDuke: 2,883,105Buchanan-Foster: 449,225Browne-Olivier: 384,516 The results of the electoral vote: Bush-Cheney: 271Gore-Lieberman: 266Nader-LaDuke: 0Buchanan-Foster: 0Browne-Olivier: 0 The number of states won: Bush-Cheney: 30 statesGore-Lieberman: 20 states plus the District of Columbia Sources Bishin, Benjamin G., Daniel Stevens, and Christian Wilson. "Character Counts?: Honesty and Fairness in Election 2000." Public Opinion Quarterly 70.2 (2006): 235–48. Print.DeSilver, Drew. "Trump’s victory another example of how Electoral College wins are bigger than popular vote ones." Pew Research Center, December 20, 2016.Electoral College Box Scores 2000-2016. U.S. Electoral College, 2016.Kritzer, Herbert M. "The Impact of Bush V. Gore on Public Perceptions and Knowledge of Supreme Court " Judicature 85 (2001). Print.Norpoth, Helmut. "Primary Colors: A Mixed Blessing for Al Gore." PS: Political Science and Politics 34.1 (2001): 45–48. Print.