In the run up to the American presidential election we asked a panel of voters to share their views and predictions. Here they give their reaction to the final result.
New York, New York
San Diego, California
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Corey Harrison
Lives: Chicago, Illinois
Works: Real estate
In 10 words or less:
"A liberal Jew with a cynical view"
I went through feelings of anger, disappointment, disbelief, and determination during election night.
But I feel none of these today.
Today is a day of reflection and I realise that although I am very proud of being American, I don't relate to so many of us.
The majority of Bush's support came from voters whose top priorities were terrorism and moral values.
I don't totally support or disagree with Bush's approach for handling terrorism, but I understand his appeal.
And although Iraq is a serious quagmire and I do blame him, people didn't seem to hold him responsible.
More difficult for me to accept is the 2004 version of US moral values.
I don't believe discriminating against homosexuals is a moral position; I don't believe using religion to impede stem cell research is a virtue and I can't rally behind a political party whose economic policies favour the wealthy over the middle class.
These aren't my moral values, but for now, they are America's.
Who knows where Bush will take the country now.
He was elected in 2000 without a mandate from the American people and labelled himself as a compassionate conservative, but now is an icon for the party right-wing.
Now, in 2004, he has his mandate... I expect he'll continue this trend.
Send us your comments on Corey's views using the form below.
The Democratic party is losing its soul. The majority of the country is ageing and becoming more conservative and therefore Republican. Unless they move further to the right they will become even more marginalised than they already appear to be, appealing only to a few coastal states in the east.
Doug Fulton, Chicago, IL, USA
As long as Democrats continue to propagate that anyone who disagrees with their agenda is "regressive", "fearful", and "ignorant", they will continue to lose election after election. Both Mr Kerry and Mr Bush stated that they were interested in putting aside partisan bickering and working for the good of the nation and the world. Will the Democratic party jump on board this wagon before it is too late?
Jeff Maxin, Seattle, WA, USA
Corey, I voted for Bush, but would not call 51 percent a mandate. I see the split much differently. The gulf between Dems and Reps is narrow. So narrow in fact that both parties had to create extremes on every position to gather votes.
Quentin Smith, USA
People are right when they look at the election map. It is clearly divided. Look at the heartland of America. It was united in this election. These people finally stood up and said enough is enough. Democrats and liberals have themselves to blame for losing the election. Although I disagree with your point of view, I admire how strongly liberals believe in what they do. This election isn't the end of the world. We are all Americans, and our flag will be waving proudly long after all this is forgotten. The majority expressed its will, even as bitterly close as it was. This is what Democracy is all about. Let's work together now and reconcile the divide.
Nick, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Corey: I am a Jew and voted for Bush. All the things you are against are not set forward by the executive power. The Congress determines domestic policies, not the president. The president sets forth foreign policy.
Raul, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA
I could not agree more with Corey's views and I believe that Bush will plunge this country further into international isolation and religious fundamentalism, rather than work towards uniting the country and working to co-operate with the rest of the world.
I am very disappointed and outraged. If you look at a map of the results by state you can see that the country is cleanly divided. The wealth generating regions with highly educated populations are all for Kerry while the poorer regions which have a less educated population are for Bush. Bush has capitalised on the ignorance of his supporters by consistently using fear, chauvinism and religion to keep people in the dark. To these people he portrays himself as an action hero with one word answers to complex issues which affect the entire planet. With a Bush victory, the cart is pulling the horse. Educated America is very afraid.
Tom La Casse, USA
Corey I agree with you and wish you well and hope that you continue voicing your opinion. The only thing we can do as responsible Americans is keep tabs on this president and on the Republican Party. After him there will be another one and let us together inform Americans about who they are voting for. This administration scares me.
George Toecker, Grayslake, IL, USA
Although I was hoping for a Kerry win, two positives have come out of this election. The first is that it was a decisive vote with no ambiguity, and the second is that now Bush has four years to clean up after himself.
Paul Matwiy, Hercules, CA, USA
Corey, I completely agree with everything that you expressed. I would like to say that despite what Bush may think he does not have a mandate - 51% is barely a majority. I also do not believe that Bush's views are those of America. Nearly half of America holds similar views to yours. The challenge now is for us not to allow our voices of reason be drowned out by those of religious fanatics for the next four years.
Stefan Brabeck, Chicago, IL, USA
I voted for Bush. I do not think he is perfect, nor do I believe that he is an icon for the right wing party. He has very far to go to be a right winger like me. Right wingers are pro-life people. This is not just when it comes to abortion, we want a better life for all. People of faith want to make a difference in everyone's lives, whether it is defending the unborn, or the poor, or the sick. The US constitution was created predominantly by men of faith (Christian faith). The intent of these men was to have a country which was built upon the morals taught in the Bible. This is a point that I feel very strongly about.
Larry, Christiansburg, VA USA
To Larry, Christiansburg: The Founding Fathers of the US were not Christian by any measure. They were in fact a collection of freethinkers. This is the reason for the separation of Church and State and why America was founded on the premise that anyone should be able to believe and practice any religion they choose - including no religion if they so choose - without fear of persecution.
Steve, Leamington, UK
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