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Gore retracts concession as Florida eyes recount in presidential race
By Matt Smith CNN.com Writer
November 8, 2000
Web posted at: 4:32 a.m. EST (0932 GMT)
(CNN) -- The presidency of the United States hinged on about 1,200 votes in Florida early Wednesday, as what may be the closest presidential race in American history kept either Texas Gov. George W. Bush or Vice President Al Gore from declaring victory. Shortly after 2 a.m. EST Wednesday, CNN and other news organizations projected Bush the winner in Florida, with its 25 electoral votes taking his total to 271 -- one more than the 270 needed to win a majority in the Electoral College. But questions about the Florida count prompted the networks to place Florida back in the "too close to call" category, leaving Bush with only 246.
"We hope and believe we have elected the next president of the United States," Bush campaign chairman Don Evans said about 4:30 a.m. EST. "The latest count in the state of Florida shows Gov. Bush winning that state by more than 1,200 votes. They're still counting. They're still counting, and I'm confident when all is said and done, we will prevail."
Gore was projected to have 249 electoral votes, with at least two states -- Oregon and Wisconsin -- remaining too close to call into Wednesday morning.
Florida election official Ed Kast said Bush received 2,904,198 votes in the state; Gore, 2,902,988. That margin -- only 1,210 votes out of nearly 6 million cast -- was so narrow it would trigger a recount under Florida law. With thousands of Gore supporters standing in the pre-dawn rain in Nashville, Tennessee, campaign chairman William Daley announced Gore would not yet concede the race.
"Without being certain of the results in Florida, we simply cannot be certain of the results of the national election," Daley announced shortly after 4 a.m. EST on Wednesday.
him on his win when the tightening numbers in Florida prompted him to call again and retract those comments. Daley said Gore and his running mate, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, were prepared to concede and support Bush if he is officially elected.
"But this race is simply too close to call, and until the recount is concluded and the results in Florida become official, our campaign continues," Daley said as the crowd roared its approval. Daley said about 5,000 votes remained to be counted in Florida in addition to a recount.
"I've been in politics a long time, and I don't think there's ever been a night like this one," Daley said.
Meanwhile, in the nationwide popular vote, with more than 90 percent of precincts in, Bush led by only 327,000 votes.
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