Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BUSH: IT'S IN THE BAG; President to Claim Victory over Kerry but Key Ohio Vote Still on Knife-Edge

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BUSH: IT'S IN THE BAG; President to Claim Victory over Kerry but Key Ohio Vote Still on Knife-Edge

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE MURPHY

STATE OF PLAY Electoral college votes

BUSH 254 KERRY 252

3 States to declare

GEORGE BUSH declared victory over John Kerry today in a nail-biting climax to the presidential race.

Although many votes were still to be counted, his top aide proclaimed a triumph to exhausted supporters at a party in Washington.

But with arguments still raging over some ballots, Mr Kerry defiantly refused to concede defeat.

To the irritation of the Bush campaign team, the Democrat challenger was waiting for the final count in Ohio - where everything finally hinges.

The tally in Ohio this afternoon stood at 2,771,814 over 2,624,201 - a Bush lead of 147,613. Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff, said such a lead was " statistically insurmountable" despite Democrat claims that 250,000 disputed votes could produce a last-minute miracle.

"President Bush has won Ohio," he declared, to huge cheers. "We are convinced-that President Bush has won re-election." The pressure was piling on Mr Kerry to throw in the towel this afternoon. Two Ohio Republican senators asked him to "spare the American people the turmoil" of a drawn-out finish and the looming threat of courtroom battles.

Nationally, Mr Bush got a clear majority of the 112 million votes counted, 51 per cent to Mr Kerry's 48.5 per cent. This was of immense personal importance to the President, who scraped home in the electoral college in 2000 despite getting fewer votes than Al Gore.

Although narrow, it is the first time since 1988 that a president has achieved an overall majority in the popular vote.

Mr Card said Mr Bush's vote was the

highest ever recorded and a "strong endorsement" of his leadership.

With Mr Kerry still refusing to make any comment, Mr Card added: "President Bush has decided to give Senator Kerry the respect of more time to reflect on the results."

There were warnings that the official count in Ohio could take another 10 days.

And there were threats of legal challenges in the state over allegations that some voters were unfairly turned away, leaving open the faint possibility of a reversal of fortunes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.