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U.S. presidential primaries, 2000

From Academic Kids

This article discusses the primary elections to nominate candidates for the 2000 U.S. presidential election.

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Democratic primary

There were two main candidates for the Democrat nomination: Former U.S. Sen. William W. Bradley (N.J.) and U.S. Vice President Albert A. Gore Jr.. Al Gore was seen as the heir to the Clinton administration. Bill Bradley, a former NBA star and NJ senator did not win a single primary. Bradley ran to the left of Gore, but endorsed him in the general election.

Republican primary

The Republican Party primary came down to a race between Texas Governor George W. Bush and Arizona Senator John McCain. McCain's campaign, centered on campaign finance reform, drew the most press coverage and the greatest popular excitement. Many Republicans complained that Democrats and other non-Republicans enrolled in the party for the express purpose of voting for McCain, thus skewing the results. Bush's campaign focused on "compassionate conservatism", including a greater role for the federal government in funding education and large reductions in the income and capital gains tax rates.

McCain won 48% of the vote to Bush's 30% in the New Hampshire primary, the first primary held, giving his campaign a great boost of energy, volunteers, and donations.

Other candidates included social conservative activist Gary Bauer, businessman Steve Forbes, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, former Ambassador Alan Keyes, former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander, former Red Cross director Elizabeth Dole, Ohio Congressman John Kasich, former Vice President Dan Quayle. Bauer and Hatch campaigned on a traditional Republican platform of opposition to legalized abortion and reductions in U.S. taxes. Keyes had a far more conservative platform, calling for the elimination of all federal taxes except tariffs. Forbes campaigned on making the federal income tax non-graduated, an idea he called the flat tax.

Reform Party primary

In the 1996 election, the Reform party had nominated Ross Perot for president, and Pat Buchanan had run for and lost the nomination of the Republican Party. In the year 2000, Buchanan ran for the Reform Party nomination. A faction of Reform Party supporters therefore felt that Buchanan was hijacking their party, and countered by trying to nominate John Hagelin, the candidate for the United States Natural Law Party. The Reform Party convention ended with the Hagelin supporters walking out and conducting a parallel convention. Eventually, the results of a lawsuit decided that Buchanan's faction was the true Reform Party and thus entitled to public financing due to Perot's showing in the previous election.

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