BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Monday, 29 January, 2001, 16:50 GMT
Gore gains in newspaper analyses
Al Gore
Coming or going? Mr Gore's career might not be over
The battle of the Florida chads is not yet over, despite the inauguration of George W Bush as president of the United States 10 days ago.

At least four US newspapers have released their own analyses of discarded ballots in the disputed state of Florida showing Democrat Al Gore picking up more votes than Mr Bush.

Only one newspaper, the Palm Beach Post, has said its investigation shows that Mr Gore actually won Florida - a result that would have made him president rather than Mr Bush.

All the reports released in the past few days have been based on small samples of disputed ballots.

But the Washington Post and New York Times are leading a group examining all 180,000 discarded votes. Their results are not expected for several months.

Ammunition for Democrats

In the meantime, separate reports by the Washington Post, Miami Herald and Chicago Tribune-led Tribune Company will add fuel to the fires of Democrats who say their man should have been declared the winner in Florida.

Judge Charles Burton examines a ballot
Florida recounting went on until the last minute
Many Democrats believe Mr Bush managed to steal the election when the US Supreme Court declared that recounting of disputed ballots had to be completed by 12 December - the day it delivered its ruling.

The verdict halted recounting, and made final the Florida Secretary of State's certification that Mr Bush had won the state by 537 votes out of about 6 million cast.

The Palm Beach Post says its analysis of "undervotes" - ballots that appeared to show no vote for president - gave Mr Gore a net gain of 682 votes, enough to win the state.

The Tribune Company analysis gave Mr Gore a net gain of 366 votes, which would not have changed the final result.

'Overvotes' examined

The Washington Post and Miami Herald both counted "overvotes" - which showed votes for more than one of the 11 presidential candidates listed on the ballot paper.

Florida recount
Some types of ballot were more liable to be thrown out than others
Both newspapers found that those ballots were far more likely to include a vote for Mr Gore than for Mr Bush.

Democrats have argued that antiquated voting machines and poorly designed ballot papers confused voters, causing some to vote for the wrong candidate, then punch another hole for the man they originally intended to vote for.

Ballots with more than one hole punched for a given office are disqualified.

The Miami Herald said that, on ballots where more than one candidate was marked for president, voters were three times more likely to vote for the Democratic Senate candidate than the Republican one.

Another go for Gore?

The news could be encouraging for Mr Gore, who has remained silent about his future political plans.

A Harris opinion poll released on Friday showed him to be easily the most popular choice among Democrats to run for the White House in 2004.

He had the support of 44% of the 2,525 adults surveyed, as opposed to 27% for his nearest rival, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, now the junior US Senator from New York.

The polling agency warned against reading too much into their results, saying they were "a measure of the political events of the last few months more than a sensitive guide to the future".

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

25 Jan 01 | Americas
Gore's new job
14 Dec 00 | Americas
Recount anger set to continue
04 Nov 00 | Americas
Gore's home-ground defeat
04 Aug 00 | Profiles
Al Gore: Groomed for power
Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories