Here are some of the remarkable results of Tuesday's election:
Most notably, unofficial vote returns indicate that the presidential candidate with the most votes in the popular election may have lost in the Electoral College. (As of this writing, that outcome is uncertain.) This has only happened two times before in U.S. history (1876 and 1888).
The ultimate conclusion aside, the 2000 presidential election was astoundingly close -- much, much closer than most polls predicted. Some of the pre-election polls were terrible -- like this poll the day before the election that gave Bush a nine point lead in the popular vote. In fact, it seems the last time there was an election this close was the 1960 election which many people believe was won fraudulently.
What's more, TV viewers got to see the utter humiliation of the news networks over their premature decisions to "project" or "declare" a decision in the state of Florida. Almost immediately, critics began lambasting the networks for the practice of calling states based on mathematical models.
Third party candidates add spice to American politics. Just as Ross Perot contributed to the defeat of George Bush, Sr. in 1992, this year Ralph Nader helped defeat Al Gore. In an election this close, however, the "Nader Effect" is particularly frustrating for those people who voted for him under the impression that Al Gore would handily win the election.
The state that the networks goofed -- and the state which currently being investigated for irregularities -- is coincidentally governed by the brother of the man who may have won there.
And it was a remarkable election in the U.S. Senate, too, where a dead man has been elected for the first time (which may not be legal, since the Constitution requires a Senate candidate to be "an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen"). Also, of course, a First Lady has won an elective office for the first time in history.
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