Florida, a swing state, had a major recount dispute that took center stage in the election. Thus, the outcome of the 2000 United States presidential election was not known for more than a month after balloting, because of the extended process of counting and then recounting of Florida presidential ballots. State results tallied on election night gave 246 electoral votes to Republican candidate George W. Bush and 255 to Democratic nominee Al Gore, with New Mexico (5), Oregon (7), and Florida (25) too close to call that evening. The arithmetic of the available electoral votes in all three states meant that at that point, the result in Florida was all that mattered, and even when both New Mexico and Oregon were declared in favor of the eventual loser Gore over the following few days, the drama in Florida uniquely dragged out for several weeks before eventually settling the election for the entire nation.
Initially Florida had been considered fertile territory for Republicans. It was governed by Jeb Bush, a staunch conservative and George W. Bush's brother. Nonetheless Republicans focused significant advertising resources in the large state, and later polls indicated that the state result was very much in play as late as September 2000. Some late momentum for Gore and his Jewish running mate Joe Lieberman may also have come from the significant Jewish population in southern Florida. Also, voters from reliable blue states in the Northeast had been migrating to Florida since the 1950s, and the Asian and Hispanic immigrant population was growing, counterbalancing Republican gains and putting the state in play in 2000.
Meanwhile there was heavy backlash in the Cuban-American population against Democrats during the Elian Gonzalez dispute, during which Janet Reno, President Bill Clinton's Attorney General, ordered 6-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez to be returned to Cuba. The Democrats' share of the Cuban vote dropped dramatically from 1996.
In late October, one poll found that Gore was leading Bush and third parties by 44-42-4 among registered voters and 46-42-4 among likely voters, but the poll had a margin of error of four percentage points, making the race too close to call.
The final official Florida count gave the victory to Bush by 537 votes, making it the tightest race of the campaign (at least in percentage terms; New Mexico was decided by 363 votes but has a much smaller population, with those 363 votes representing a 0.061% margin while the 537 votes in Florida were just 0.009%). Most of the reduction in the recount came from Miami-Dade county alone.
Federal official vote for the state of Florida (25 electoral votes)
Technically the voters of Florida cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. In 2000 Florida was allocated 25 electors because it had 23 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 25 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 25 electoral votes. Their chosen electors then vote for President and Vice President. Although electors are pledged to their candidate and running mate, they are not obligated to vote for them. An elector who votes for someone other than his or her candidate is known as a faithless elector.
The electors of each state and the District of Columbia met on December 18, 2000 to cast their votes for President and Vice President. The Electoral College itself never meets as one body. Instead the electors from each state and the District of Columbia met in their respective capitols.
The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state. All were pledged to and voted for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney:
Recount is a made-for-TV political drama about the 2000 US Presidential election. The show was written by Danny Strong, directed by Jay Roach, and produced by Kevin Spacey (who also stars in the film). It premiered on HBO on May 25, 2008, and the DVD was released on August 19, 2008.