Nickname: Dubya

Years in office: 2001–2009

Political party: Republican

Birthday: July 6, 1946

Official presidential portrait of George W. Bush

by John Howard Sanden, 2011

Official Ballot General Election, 2000 (Image from the Smithsonian Museum of American History)

If you voted in the 2000 election, then you certainly remember Florida and its hanging chads. The election was, at times, called in favor of both candidates. Ballots such as this one were all the news in Florida, where the possibility of a recount loomed. Some ballots were not punched all the way through, leading to hanging or dimpled chads. In the end, the Supreme Court stopped the recount. Bush was awarded Florida’s electoral votes and became the 43rd president.

In the 2000 election, the sitting vice president, Democrat Al Gore, faced the Texas governor, Republican George W. Bush. This election is the only one to hinge on a Supreme Court decision. Gore petitioned for, and won, a recount of Florida’s popular votes. Bush appealed the recount to the Supreme Court of the US. According to their decision, the recount could not be completed in time, so the results would remain in favor of Bush. With Bush winning Florida’s electoral votes, he gained the majority needed to become the new president. He also became the fourth president to lose the popular vote, but win the presidency.

In 2004, the incumbent George W. Bush faced Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts. During President Bush’s first term, the country saw the worst attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor. The wars that ensued were at the forefront of campaign debates. Kerry was a Vietnam veteran turned anti-war candidate. Bush stood behind his record in the previous years. Bush won with 286 electoral votes, this time winning the popular vote as well.


Midland, TX


Dallas, TX


Davis, Kenneth C., and Pedro Martin. Don’t Know Much about the Presidents. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.

DeGregorio, William A., and Aaron Jaffe. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, Inc., 2017.

Kane, Joseph Nathan, and Janet Podell. Facts about the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2009.


Encyclopedia Britannica, britannica.com

Library of Congress, loc.gov

Miller Center, University of Virginia, millercenter.org/the-presidency

The White House, whitehouse.gov

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