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Saturday, 4 November, 2000, 22:20 GMT
Gore's home-ground defeat
Democratic rally in Tennessee
All smiles during the campaign, but victory was elusive
Al Gore lost in his home state of Tennessee despite campaigning there right up to the closing days of the presidential race.

Polls ahead of voting day showed him neck and neck with Mr Bush in the race for the state's 11 electoral college votes.

No presidential candidate has lost their home state since George McGovern lost South Dakota to Richard Nixon in 1972.

Analysts said one of the problems which faced Mr Gore in Tennessee was that it is a Southern state and the South is the region most heavily backing Mr Bush.

Al Gore
Some question Gore's Tennessean credentials
Rural Tennessee for instance, like much of the South, likes its guns and is wary of anyone who might take them away.

Culturally it is more in tune with Mr Bush than with Mr Gore.

But more significantly, in the state there is even a debate about whether or not Al Gore is a real home-grown Tennessean.

The BBC's US affairs analyst Gordon Corera says some people in the state will talk about Al Gore's coming home to work on the family farm in Carthage during his holidays, but others will point out that these were holidays from his exclusive private school in Washington DC, the city where Mr Gore has spent the majority of his life.

Gore spent 16 years representing the state in Congress and then another eight as vice-president.

While in Congress he made a big play of going back home as much as he could to try and stay in touch with his constituents - partly because he had seen his father lose his Senate seat to a Republican who attacked Gore senior as out of touch with Tennessee values.

But our correspondent says the last eight years have tied Gore to Washington DC and the Clinton administration in a way that has undermined local support.


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