Gore Victorious

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Al Gore, the president that almost was.

One of the most contentious elections in American history, and arguably one that set the course of the United States for the past two decades, was the 2000 presidential election. Governor George W. Bush narrowly defeated Vice President Al Gore by 537 votes in the State of Florida, handing Bush the White House. 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the debate on climate change policy, and the financial crisis, all took place in Bush's two terms in office, and set the course for Barack Obama and eventually Donald Trump to lead a polarized nation in the following decade.

However, Gore did not lose due to Florida alone. His campaign was marred with missteps, namely refusing to campaign with his popular superior Bill Clinton and poor debate performances. Gore also made the mistake of ignoring states that the Bush campaign was attempting to undercut Gore in, namely those in Appalachia. In the preceding 100 years, a Democrat won West Virginia in all but 9 of the 24 elections preceding 2000, and of the times that the Democrats lost West Virginia, only three of them took place after the realigning presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But, what if the 2000 election had a different outcome? What if a better managed campaign by Al Gore had led to a victory for Al Gore, as well as altered performances in the downballot?