Sunday, October 14, 2007

Al Gore won the popular vote in Florida in 2000

Now that former Vice President Al Gore is back in the limelight, I want to correct the record about what happened in Florida in the 2000 presidential election.

The October 13th New York Times article, Gore Shares Peace Prize for Climate Change Work stated, “Mr. Gore, who lost the 2000 election to Mr. Bush…” without qualifying this sweeping statement. Countless times I’ve heard people say Gore lost the popular vote in Florida in 2000. Not true.

Unlike Ohio in 2004, where the uncounted ballots were never counted (apparently many of those ballots have been destroyed) the uncounted ballots in Florida were counted after the election.

The Battle for Florida - An Annotated Compendium of Materials from the 2000 Election, by Lance deHaven-Smith, photo, (published by the University Press of Florida in 2005) states on page 8, “In a year-long study paid for by the nation’s most important newspapers, NORC [National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago] carefully examined and evaluated all the 175,010 ballots that had remained uncounted at the end of the dispute.” On page 39, “…”Gore has the most votes when all votes are counted.”

In 2005, deHaven-Smith concluded, …”[M]ost Americans are under the mistaken impression that the true winner of the 2000 presidential election could not be definitively determined….Americans hold this erroneous opinion because they were misled and confused by journalists, political consultants, academics, and others…”

I think most Americans still have a mistaken impression about who won in Florida in 2000.

The Battle for Florida costs $75 (thanks to my good friend Janie Sheppard for buying it), but it’s well worth the purchase price if you really want to know what happened in Florida in 2000.

In 2005, DeHaven-Smith was interviewed, Chat with Lance de-Haven-Smith - Al Gore really did beat George W. Bush in 2000. Six years on, this is still a problem? For those of you who aren’t planning to buy deHaven-Smith’s book, I highly recommend you read the whole interview.

My response to the query, “Six years on, this is still a problem?” is to direct readers to yesterday’s New York Times article, Voting Machines Give Florida a Headache. The hanging chads may have disappeared, but it’s clear that Florida, along with most of the states, has some work to do before the upcoming elections.

Back to Gore: My friend, Tod Brilliant, has posted two very interesting articles, most recently Gore Nobel Win Damages Environmental Movement and earlier this month, Why Al Gore Makes the Perfect Third Party Candidate.

(photo of Gore: James Rexrod – fantastic photos, check it out!
(photo of Lance deHaven Smith from his academic website)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for setting the record straight with respect to Al Gore getting the most votes in Florida and losing the election, thanks to the Supreme Court and the fanatical Republicans who would pervert the democratic process to put their man in the White House.

Just don't know where to start taking apart Tod Brilliant's argument that Gore winning the Nobel is a disaster for the environment.

One point is to remind him (and us) that the crazy politics of the US where down is up and up is down is not necessarily the way the rest of the world is going to see Gore's prize.

Call me naive,but I think that the rest of the world, the reality based world that is, is probably thinking that Gore's prize is deserved because he has spent most of his adult life trying to educate the rest of us, even in the Alice in Woderland world of US politics, about the dangers of global warming.

This is not the first time an environmentalist has received the Nobel PEACE prize as a way of recognizing the connection between environmental disasters and war and peace. Previously the African activist Wangari Muta Maathai won the PEACE prize for similar reasons. The environment and peace are connected.

Of course Al Gore is disliked by 20% of the Republicans, who no matter what, support George Bush. Maybe Tod Brilliant can bring them into the fold, or knows someone who can. I can't think of anyone, can anyone else come up with that perfect person?