In the closest Presidential election since John Kennedy edged out Richard Nixon in 1960, George Walker Bush beat Al Gore in a hotly disputed race where the winner was effectively decided by the Supreme Court. Bush took advantage of Al Gore's crucial errors of judgement, and used some clever politics to win an election he really lost.
The fact remained after the legal wrangling and the disputes over ballot papers, that George Bush had gained almost half a million less popular votes than Al Gore. The vagaries of the Electoral College system meant that he became President after winning more "points from each state than Gore. The "winner takes all system means that a candidate will gain all Electoral College votes that a state has to offer regardless of whether he wins by one vote or one hundred thousand votes. The last time this happened in an election was in 1888 when Grover Cleveland won without the popular vote. The key electoral state of Florida was the clinching factor in 2000, where George Bush was declared the winner by 537 votes. But later it emerged that there had been problems with casting votes in Palm Beach. Palm Beach, an area with a high percentage of Jewish retired people who would be certain Democrat voters, but the results displayed a large amount of people voting for the Reform Party candidate, Pat Buchanan. This was a huge surprise as he had stated, in 1990 that the holocaust was not all bad and generally came across as anti-Semitic. It emerged later that some people had had trouble understanding the ballot paper, as the punching holes were in a, supposedly, confusing place; people had wanted to vote Gore but had mis-read the ticket and votes Buchanan instead. It also emerged that unopened boxes of ballot papers had been found in churches and community centres in predominantly black districts, districts that in Florida in 2000 had overwhelmingly voted for Gore. This lead Al Gore to call the count "incomplete