Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2000

Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2000
Democratic presidential primaries, 2000
United States
1996 ←
January 24 to June 6, 2000
→ 2004

  Al Gore, Vice President of the United States, official portrait 1994.jpg Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ).jpg
Nominee Al Gore Bill Bradley
Party Democratic Democratic
Home state Tennessee New Jersey
States carried 50 + D.C. 0
Popular vote 10,626,568 2,798,281
Percentage 75.8% 19.96%

Blank US Map.svg

Gore won every statewide contest.

President before election

Bill Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate-elect

Al Gore

The 2000 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Incumbent Vice President Al Gore was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 2000 Democratic National Convention held from August 14 to August 17, 2000 in Los Angeles, California.




Withdrew during primaries

Declined to run

Numerous candidates for the Democratic nomination tested the waters including U.S. Senator John Kerry, Governor Howard Dean,[1] U.S. Congressman Richard Gephardt, and Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Primary race overview

The apparent front runner and party establishment candidate Vice President Albert Gore Jr. of Tennessee only faced one candidate in the primaries: U.S. Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey. The two campaigned to succeed the 1992 and 1996 nominee, President Bill Clinton. During the course of the five-month primary season, Gore had managed to win every single primary contest over his rival, and was easily declared the party's nominee for the 2000 Election.

Serious early speculation surrounded Bill Bradley, a U.S. Senator and former basketball player for the New York Knicks, who had long been considered a potential Democratic contender for the presidency. In December 1998, Bradley formed a presidential exploratory committee and began organizing a campaign.[2] Gore, however, had been considered the favorite for the Democratic nomination as early as 1997, with the commencement of President Bill Clinton’s second term.[3] Though numerous candidates for the Democratic nomination tested the waters, including Senator John Kerry, Governor Howard Dean,[4] Representative Richard Gephardt, and Reverend Jesse Jackson, only Gore and Bradley ultimately entered the contest.

Bill Bradley campaigned as the liberal alternative to Gore, taking positions to the left of Gore on a number of issues, including universal health care, gun control, and campaign finance reform. On the issue of taxes, Bradley trumpeted his sponsorship of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which had significantly cut tax rates while abolishing dozens of loopholes.[5] He voiced his belief that the best possible tax code would be one with low rates and no loopholes, but he refused to rule out the idea of raising taxes to pay for his health care program.

On public education, Bradley pushed for increased federal funding for schools under Title I, as well as the expansion of the Head Start program.[6] He further promised to bring 60,000 new teachers into the education system annually by offering college scholarships to anyone who agreed to become a teacher after graduating.[7] Bradley also made child poverty a significant issue in his campaign. Having voted against the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, better known as the "Welfare Reform Act," which, he said, would result in even higher poverty levels,[5] he promised to repeal it as president. He also promised to address the minimum wage, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, allow single parents on welfare to keep their child support payments, make the Dependent Care Tax Credit refundable, build support homes for pregnant teenagers, enroll 400,000 more children in Head Start, and increase the availability of food stamps.[7]

Although both Gore and Bradley showed comparable success in terms of fund-raising, Bradley lagged behind Gore in many polls from the start and never gained a competitive position. Despite the late endorsement of the Des Moines Register,[8] Bradley went on to be defeated in the Iowa Caucus; Gore garnered 64% of the votes, while Bradley received only 35%.[9] Gore won the primary competition in New Hampshire as well, though by a significantly smaller margin, receiving 52% to Bradley’s 47%. After a resounding defeat on Super Tuesday, with Bradley failing to carry the majority of delegates in a single state, he withdrew from the race on March 9.[10]




2000 Democratic primaries and caucuses[11]
Bill Bradley Al Gore Others
January 24 Iowa (caucus) 35% 63% 2%
February 1 New Hampshire (primary) 46% 50% 4%
February 5 Delaware (primary) 40% 57% 3%
February 29 Washington (primary) 32% 68% 0%
March 7 California (primary) 18% 81% 1%
March 7 Connecticut (primary) 42% 55% 3%
March 7 Georgia (primary) 16% 84% 0%
March 7 Missouri (primary) 33% 64% 1.55%
March 7 Rhode Island (primary) 40% 56% 2.72%
March 7 Massachusetts (primary) 37% 59% 3.05%
March 7 Maryland (primary) 28% 67% 4.23%
March 7 Maine (primary) 41% 54% 4.72%
March 7 Ohio(primary) 24% 73% 1.69%
March 7 New York (primary) 33% 65% 0.92%
March 7 Vermont (primary) 43% 54% 1.79%
March 10 Colorado (primary) 23% 71% 5.29%
March 10 Utah (primary) 20% 79% 0%
March 11 Arizona (primary) 18% 77% 3.23%
March 14 Tennessee (primary) 1% 98% 2.61%
March 14 Florida (primary) 18% 81% 0%
March 14 Mississippi (primary) 8% 89% 1.78%
March 14 Oklahoma (primary) 25% 68% 5.85%
March 14 Louisiana (primary) 19% 72% 7.13%
March 14 Texas (primary) 16% 80% 3.42%
March 21 Illinois (primary) 14% 84% 1.41%
April 4 Pennsylvania (primary) 20% 74% 4.98%
April 4 Wisconsin (primary) 8% 88% 2.69%
May 2 North Carolina (primary) 18% 70% 11.28%
May 2 Indiana (primary) 21% 74% 3.15%
May 9 West Virginia (primary) 18% 72% 9.55%
May 9 Nebraska (primary) 26% 69% 3.56%
May 23 Kentucky (primary) 14% 71% 14.06%
June 6 New Mexico (primary) 20% 74% 4.81%


2000 Democratic Primaries and Caucuses Delegate Count
Bill Bradley Al Gore Uncommited
CNN Delegates Count [12] Total Delegates 414 3432 3

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman was nominated for Vice President by voice vote. Lieberman became the first Jewish American ever to be chosen for this position by a major party. Other potential running-mates included;

See also


  1. ^ Politics1 - Guide to the Inactive 2004 Democratic Presidential Prospects
  2. ^ Preston, Jennifer (December 5, 1998). "Bradley Takes First Step Toward Presidential Race". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ APPLE Jr, R. W. (January 19, 1997). "Gore Is Crossing Starting Line for Year 2000". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ Politics1 - Guide to the Inactive 2004 Democratic Presidential Prospects
  5. ^ a b Dao, James (September 22, 1999). "Moynihan to Endorse Bradley, Favoring Friend Over the Vice President". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  6. ^ Steinberg, Jacques (February 29, 2000). "THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: THE EDUCATION ISSUE; The Candidates' Homework on Schools". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Bill Bradley for President 2000 Campaign Brochure
  8. ^ "Des Moines Register endorses Bradley". CNN. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ CNN. [dead link]
  10. ^ Dao, James; Kristof, Nicholas D. (March 9, 2000). "THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: THE QUEST; His Early Promise Vanished, Bradley Plans to Quit Today". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  11. ^ 2000 Democratic Primary Election Events Timeline
  12. ^ "CNN Election 2000 Delegate Count". [dead link]
  13. ^ Our Campaigns - US President - D Primaries Race - Feb 01, 2000

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