Gore Grabs the Big Prizes; 3am: But a Bush Revival Keeps Poll on Knife-Edge
Byline: SARAH CHALMERS
AL GORE looked to be on his way to Presidential victory early today - but the race was still one of the tightest ever.
Opinion polls showing a late surge for the Democrat Vice-President appeared to be confirmed when he scored victories in the key states of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The loss of Florida was a particularly heavy blow for Republican George W Bush, whose brother Jeb is governor there. No Republican since 1924 had lost Florida but still won the Presidency.
But the Gore camp also suffered an embarrassing setback when Bush won Tennessee, the Vice-President's home state.
It looked likely that the race would not be won or lost until the result in California was declared, with Gore the favourite there.
The state has a massive 54 votes in the electoral college which actually elects the President.
A candidate needs 270 of the 538 at stake to reach the White House.
Exit polls showed Bush and running mate Dick Cheney winning Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, North and South Dakota, Georgia, Louisiana, Nebraska, Virginia and Wyoming.
Gore won Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.
There was good news for Senator Joe Lieberman, Gore's running mate.
He won re-election to Congress in Connecticut, although he would have to give up the seat if he and Mr Gore reach the White House .
Gore, who had been trailing in the opinion polls for weeks, was buoyed by the last survey of the campaign, a Reuters poll which gave him 48 per cent to Bush's 46 per cent. …