Gore was reared and educated in the District of Columbia and graduated from Harvard. He was a newspaper reporter before securing his first public office. As a moderate senator and a respected environmentalist, he ran unsuccessfully for president in the primaries of 1988 but chose not to run again after the near- fatal injury of him young son in an auto accident in 1989. As a vice-president, he enjoyed an unusual degree of access to the president, who reportedly relied heavily on his judgement.
Furthermore, party identification is also a critical factor that influenced the vote in 2000 and 2016 elections (McDonald). Generally, voters exhibit partisan loyalties that affect voting partners. In the US elections, most voters are Democrats, Republicans or Independent. Hence, party identification is an important issue in explaining political orientation (Abramson, Aldrich & Rhode 168). Although the two-party system makes it hard for candidates from outside Democratic and Republican parties to win presidential elections, Abramson et al. contents that third-party candidates have the potential to alter the election outcomes (Abramson et al. 167). In 2000, elections centered on not only on Bush and Gore, but also on Ralph Nader, a Green Party candidate. Nader’s party, though not victorious, siphoned considerable votes from Al Gore to swing victory George Bush. Trump was a third party candidate who later joined the Republican party. A third party candidate Jill Stein flipped a lot of votes from Clinton, effectively denying her the chance to win the Electoral college.
Candidate performance is also crucial in influencing election outcomes. Arguably, Clinton performed better than Trump in the three presidential debates. By mid-October, Clinton had a seven-point lead, mainly due to scandals that followed Trump such as the infamous “Access Hollywood,” and the Khan family. However, Clinton’s popularity dipped after the FBI intervention, Wikileaks and the 9/11 fainting spell. Trump had a strong performance among the white, working-class voters in Rust Belt. Unlike Trump, Americans had a lot of Clintons past political failures. Although Gore was perceived to understand the art of debating than Bush, and also had a modest lead in some of the national polls, he had a more substantial burden; to avoid contact with the ethical smears of Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. In both elections, former presidents failed to transfer their popularities and track records to the successors (Pomper 201).
Another essential factor to consider in elections is personality. According to the American Psychological Association, personality is the individual differences in thinking, feeling and behaving (APA). In the 2000 campaign, Al Gore stood out on more issues, but not as a commanding lead as Bush. Gore was perceived as having a lackluster personality, thus allowing Bush to win even among the independents, north-easterners, and Catholics (Pomper 201). Clinton and Gore scored well with voters on issues like healthcare, social security, and education and were seen as more caring and compassionate than Bush and Trump. The issue that nagged many scholars is to explain why Clinton and Gore did not succeed (McDonald). Some point out that Trump had a stronger personality factor that outwitted Clinton’s campaign policy. In 2000, Mr. Bush was seen as more of a leader than Mr. Gore. In 2016, most Americans may not have been ready to elect a woman president, and they had a better alternative to a “tough-talking” Trump.