Aircheck: NBC, 11/8-9/2000

Might this be a preview of what might happen on Tuesday night, November 8th, 2016?

Back in 2000, there was another close race for the White House, as Tennessee Democrat and sitting Vice President Al Gore battled Texas governor George W. Bush. Prior to the current election, this race was easily the most bizarre election ever held in our country.

Early on, the TV networks projected Al Gore would win Florida, a state many thought the Presidential election would hinge upon. A few hours later, the networks retracted Gore’s apparent win in Florida, a totally unprecedented move prior to that evening. A little past 2:00 am ET the following morning, the networks then called Bush the winner of Florida, making him the president-elect with the previously amassed electoral votes he was able to tally, pushing him over the threshold needed to win of 270.

Then things really got weird. As network cameras trained on Austin, Texas and the celebratory mood of onlookers, they began to notice that the ongoing vote totals in Florida got incredibly tighter. At one point, Bush lead Gore by well under 1,000 votes. Gore, who was on his way to concede the election to Bush in Nashville, retracted his concession. The networks then, once again, declared the Presidential race too close to call on the grounds that the Florida race was undecided.

It would stay that way until mid-December, when the United States Supreme Court ordered recounting efforts in Florida to be stopped. With Bush ahead, he was declared the winner, officially by 537 votes. (Many believe that if the recount effort was allowed to conclude, Al Gore would have won, and thus would have been President.) That gave Bush a very narrow 271-266 win in the Electoral college. The tally should have been 271-267, but a “faithless elector” in D.C., Barbara Left-Simmons, refused to cast a vote for the Gore ticket due to the District not having representation in Congress.

Don’t let it be said that your votes don’t count. That is, unless the powers that be don’t want them counted.


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