271 Gore to 266 Bush

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Jim Smitty, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

    Oct 23, 2010
    Ok one thing I always wanted to play with is the idea of Gore carrying New Hampshire in the 2000 election. Those four votes would been enough to put Gore over the 270 finish line and made the whole mess in Florida irrelevant. The difference in NH is just over 7,000 votes in OTL. Lets say for whatever reason Gore is able to swing an extra 10,000 or so votes. Or whatever the mark in NH to keep from going to an automatic recount. Honestly I don't know what that level is.

    What kind of effect would this have on American History? My own thoughts is Gore is a single term POTUS. 9/11 still happens. We still invade A-stan, but there is no Iraq war. The SCOTUS make up wouldn't change but the make up of the lower courts would.

    Other thoughts?
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  2. Historian299 Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2019
    Ironically most news sources were predicting Gore to win electorally but Bush win the popular vote
  3. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2017
    Gore won New Mexico by 366 votes. The GOP was ripe and ready to raise legal challenges and push for recounts and whatnot in that state, but the Bush team opted to just put all of the focus on Florida because there wouldn't be much of a difference of winning 271-267 and 276-262

    Here, winning Florida and New Mexico would be important.


    There's also other states where the margin was really really close. Gore won Wisconsin by 5,708 votes (0.22%). Gore won Iowa by 4,144 votes (0.31%). Gore won Oregon by 6,765 votes (0.44%). I imagine the GOP wouldn't have issue expanding the legal battleground to three other really close states. Meanwhile in this scenario you're positing that Gore barely wins New Hampshire, so I guess that makes it four other really close states.


    It'd be veeeeery messy, very drawn out, and a constitutional-political nightmare. Does the House pick the President, given how nobody's technically got 270 when the EC meets? If the situation isn't resolved by January 20th, does that make Dennis Hastert acting President? Can somebody be both Acting President and Speaker at the same time?

    Also the reason that it was 271-266 OTL (notice how those two numbers add up to 537, not 538) is because a DC Elector refused to vote as part of a protest of lack of congressional representation. If it's just the OTL map with NH swapped, then it'd be 270-267 Gore-Bush.

    With regards to Gore as President, it isn't as if the Clinton administration wasn't bombing the crap out of Iraq for a decade. Gore made a name for himself by being one of the Democrats' Hawks, he was already for removing Saddam from power, and he's got VP Joseph Lieberman urging him on. If there's a big difference between Bush and Gore, it'd likely be (1) Gore probably won't have a SecDef who handwaves away the Pentagon saying that it's gonna take a lot more than 100,000 troops to occupy Iraq; (2) Gore may not be as dismissive of Iran's offers of rapprochement in the early 2000s the way Bush was; (3) Gore won't be as hands-off on Foreign Policy as Bush was - Bush being more deferential to other more experienced cabinet members, to his detriment; (4) Gore won't have as much of a go-it-alone attitude on the conflict as Bush did; (5) No Cheney giving sweetheart deals to Haliburton and other contractors. More men, more expertise, more international support, more focus, and perhaps less Iranian interference would mean that Iraq would be a very different war from the clusterf**k that it was OTL.

    With a good mid-2000s economy, I don't think it's implausible that Gore gets reelected.
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  4. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

    Sep 19, 2012
    The left coast...
    There is an easier path for Gore, one that for whatever reason he was unwilling to take the effort. To wit: Gore failed to carry his home state of Tennessee. Yes, it was going increasingly red, but the Gore family still had a great deal of positive residue among old time democratic voters in the eastern hill country.
    One last walkabout, speaking to people who had known his father, his kin. One last hurrah.
    The counties that are on the eastern side, that are pink - Bush won, he should have lost most of them. (The GOP was surprised that they managed to carry Tennessee).
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  5. FlyingSquirrel Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2016
    United States
    Gore might have launched air strikes against Iraq at some point, but I don't think he would have authorized a full invasion like Bush did, regardless of what Lieberman might have been saying behind the scenes. I agree that he'd probably be a one-term president - he ran as a boring, cautious centrist in 2000 and probably would have governed similarly, which may have been politically effective up to a point but would be unlikely to lead to an energized Democratic base in 2004. It wasn't until after he'd lost and been away from electoral politics for a while that he really seemed to find his voice with the success of An Inconvenient Truth.

    If he had run and won in 2008, on the other hand, he might have gone on to be a genuinely inspiring and consequential President, perhaps even more successfully than Obama.
  6. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

    May 4, 2009
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
    Better, make him win WV, the miners were very warry what gore and dems would do for them, so vote bush and their neo protectionism
  7. darklordoftech Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2016
    On 9/11: If it happens, how does Gore handle Tora Bora?

    On Iraq: Gore wouldn’t act without the UN and NATO.

    On domestic policy: Gore and Hastert/Lott/Frist obstructing each other would be preferable to OTL.
  8. FDRFan1943 Member

    Jun 15, 2019
    Under current law, if the Speaker of the House (or the President pro tempore of the Senate) succeeds to the Office of the President or becomes Acting President during the temporary disability of the President, when there is no Vice President, the Speaker (or Senate President pro tempore) must resign his or her seat in Congress prior to taking the Presidential oath of office and becoming (Acting) President. His or her now-vacant Congressional seat will be filled according to the appropriate law: a special election for the Speaker, and as directed by state law for the Senate President pro tempore. The House (or Senate) will also have to hold an immediate election to elect a new Speaker (or President pro tempore) according to the rules appropriate to the body in question.
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  9. David Floyd Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2008
    Jackson Lennock, the Senate would elect the VP as per the 12th Amendment, who would become Acting President on January 20. The messy part is that after the November elections the Senate was split 50/50, with the tiebreaking vote held by the Vice President - Al Gore.

    In this scenario, Gore casts the deciding vote electing Joe Lieberman to the Vice Presidency, a seat he would hold regardless of who the House ultimately elected, and Lieberman would be Acting President in the meantime.

    Messy, messy situation and I think a compromise in the Senate would occur to prevent allowing Gore to vote for his own VP. Either a couple of right-leaning Democrats would vote for Cheney, or a left leaning Republican would vote for Lieberman. The latter is, IMO, far more likely.
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  10. David T Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    If Gore had won NH--which he easily might have done if he had chosen Jeanne Shaheen as his running mate--IMO he would have won the election, period. Yes, the GOP would have sought a recount in NM but it would almost certainly have failed, as most such recounts do.

    Of course many Republicans would claim for the next four years that Gore had won as the result of fraud. And some might have become bitter about Pat Buchanan allegedly costing Bush NM (and therefore in this ATL the election), though it is not actually clear that he did.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  11. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2017
    Jeffords, Chafee, and McCain would be the ones most likely to cross over and give it to Lieberman, I think. The Democrats tried to poach all of them in the early Bush years.

    Maybe the election is allowed to go to the house of representatives and a deal is made in which Lieberman will be VP and Bush will appoint Democrats to a few cabinet posts.

    Lloyd Bentsen at Treasury or Defense, Sam Nunn somewhere, David Boren somewhere, John Warner (a Republican, but considered for SecDef by Clinton), William Cohen (Republican, but Clinton SecDef), Richard Shelby (D turned R), etc.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  12. darklordoftech Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2016
    Lieberman was consistently to the right of Clinton and even worked with Lynn Cheney while Cheney was to the right of Gingrich (giving him no appeal to even the most centrist Democrats).
  13. Zheng He Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2013
    What does Gore winning do to the far right, particularly the social conservatives/religious right? If Buchanan (who is a hero to many of these people) is viewed as helping Gore win and because Bush was the acceptable choice of that crowd over the squishy RINO McCain, do they lose power in the party?
  14. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

    May 14, 2017
    Maybe temporarily. I doubt they would fade away long term. But 2004 would see them marginalized. They might start making a comeback in 2008, with them back to their previous position by 2012
  15. Zheng He Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2013
    Probable depends on a lot of factors. McCain easily sails to the GOP nomination in 2004 and is free to pick whatever VP he wants. Not sure if it is enough to defeat Gore although one friend of mine in 2000 said his dad who was pretty heavily involved in Democratic Party politics told him there was a time early in the campaign when the Dems were afraid McCain would defeat Bush because they didn't think Gore had a prayer against McCain.
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