Former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore told HBO’s Bill Maher he thinks he carried the state of Florida in 2000, a state that would have given Gore the presidency over George W. Bush.

Gore, 69, visited Maher on HBO’s “Real Time” on Friday to discuss his follow-up climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” when the host broached the issue of rising sea levels.

“So when the sea levels rise, obviously we could lose Venice. We could lose Florida. And who would know better about losing Florida?” Maher joked, leading to some groans from the live studio audience in Los Angeles.


“Actually, I think I carried Florida,” a smiling Gore retorted. “But that’s another — we won’t go there.”

Maher agreed that Gore won the hotly-contested state and its 25 electoral votes at the time.

“That’s right, OK, there you go. I think you do did too.”

The 2000 vote in the Sunshine State was settled in Bush’s favor weeks after the election on Dec. 12, with the former Texas governor winning by a margin of 537 votes after the Supreme Court stopped a recount by a 5-4 vote. Gore conceded the following day.

Bush lost the popular vote but won the electoral college, 271-266. 

A USA Today/Miami Herald/Knight Ridder study after the election concluded in May 2001 that Bush would have won a hand count of Florida’s disputed ballots, called “hanging chads,” if a standard advocated by Gore had been used.

“Bush would have won by 1,665 votes — more than triple his official 537-vote margin — if every dimple, hanging chad and mark on the ballots had been counted as votes,” the study concluded. 

Tags Al Gore

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