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U.S. presidential election, 2004

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Presidential Candidate Electoral Vote Popular Vote Pct Party Running Mate
(Electoral Votes)
Other elections: 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016
Source: U.S. Office of the Federal Register

The next U.S. presidential election is scheduled to occur November 2, 2004.

For the same date is scheduled:

(the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are elected simultaneously with the President).

The winner of this election will be inaugurated President on January 20, 2005.

Table of contents
1 Timeline
2 Important future dates
3 Candidates
4 Electoral College changes from 2000
5 External links and references


  • 2002
  • 2003
    • January 2 - Senator John Edwards of North Carolina announces formation of exploratory committee for the Democratic nomination.
    • January 4 - Representative Richard Gephardt of Missouri, the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, announces his intention to run for the Democratic nomination.
    • January 5 - Reverend Al Sharpton of New York announces his intention to run for the Democratic nomination.
    • January 7 - Tom Daschle, the United States Senate Minority Leader, announces that he will not run for President in 2004. Daschle had been widely expected to run.
    • January 13 - Senator Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut announces his intention to run for the Democratic nomination.
    • January 17 - Libertarian Gary Nolan, former syndicated talk radio host, files papers to form an exploratory committee for a presidential run and announces his candidacy.
    • January 22 - A campaign to draft Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs is launched at http://www.jobs4president.org/. The site was announced on Slashdot, overloading the server within ten minutes. Before the owners of the site could bring the site back up, Jobs declines interest in running. [1]
    • February 18 - Carol Moseley Braun, former Senator from Illinois, announces her intention to run for the Democratic nomination.
    • February 19 - Dennis Kucinich, Representative from Ohio, files papers to form an exploratory committee for a presidential run.
    • February 27 - Senator Bob Graham of Florida announced his candidacy.
    • March 3 - Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut announces that he will not run for the 2004 Democratic party presidential nomination.
    • March 22 - The United States and the United Kingdom begin their shock and awe campaign with a massive air strike on military targets in Baghdad using cruise missiles fired from US Navy warships, Royal Navy submarines and B-52 bombers; and laser guided missiles fired by Stealth Bombers.
    • April 2: Speaking before an audience in Peterborough, New Hampshire, John Kerry says “We need a regime change not just in Iraq. We need a regime change here in the United States.” [1] Republicans criticize Kerry for speaking out against a wartime president. [1]
    • April 17 - Democratic fundraising totals for the first quarter of 2003 are reported. John Edwards raises $7.4 million, John Kerry raises $7.0 million, Dick Gephardt raises $3.5 million, Joe Lieberman raises $3.0 million, Howard Dean raises $2.6 million, Bob Graham raises $1.1 million, and Dennis Kucinich and Carol Moseley Braun raise less than $1 million each.
    • May 1 - George W. Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, in a Lockheed S-3 Viking, where he gave a speech announcing end of major combat in the Iraq war. Clearly visible in the background was a banner stating "Mission Accomplished". Bush's landing was criticized by opponents as overly theatrical and expensive. The banner, made by White House personnel (according to a CNN story: [1]) and placed there by the U.S. Navy, was criticized as premature. Nonetheless, Bush's approval rating in the month of May rides at 66%, according to a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll. [1]
    • May 3 - Democrats meet at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina in the first formal debate between the nine challengers for the 2004 Democratic party presidential nomination. The candidates disagree on the war against Iraq, health insurance, and even President Bush's tax cuts, but unite in criticizing Bush's handling of the economy.
    • May 6 - Gary Hart, former Senator from Colorado, announces he will not seek the Democratic nomination for President in 2004.
    • May 7 - Vice President Dick Cheney announces he will be President Bush's running mate again in 2004. Cheney's position on the ticket had been the subject of some speculation because he has had four heart attacks, though none as Vice President. Bush had still not formally announced he would seek re-election yet.
    • May 16 - President Bush formally files papers with the Federal Election Commission seeking a second term as President.
    • June 17 - Howard Dean airs the first television advertising of the 2004 campaign. The two week ad campaign will cost more than $300,000.
    • June 23 - Howard Dean formally announces that he is running for President, filing to form a presidential election campaign with the FEC.
    • June 23 - U.S. Supreme Court upholds affirmative action in university admissions in Grutter v. Bollinger
    • June 24 - Liberal advocacy website MoveOn holds the first ever online Democratic "primary," which lasts just over 48 hours. It is an unofficial and non-binding affair, but with important symbolic and financial value. Of 317,647 votes, Howard Dean receives 44%, Dennis Kucinich 24%, and John Kerry 16%. Had any candidate received 50% of the vote, the candidate would have received MoveOn's endorsement and financial support. Instead, MoveOn supports all the candidates. [1]
    • June 26 - U.S. Supreme Court rules sodomy laws unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas
    • July 3 - Democratic fundraising numbers for the second quarter of 2003 are reported and announced. Howard Dean surprises many raising $7.5 million, John Kerry raises $6 million, while John Edwards and Joseph Lieberman raise roughly $5 million each.
    • July 14 - Edie Bukewihge, Republican, formally filed papers with the Federal Election Commission seeking a first term as President.
    • August 11 - Delaware Senator Joseph Biden announces he will not seek the Democratic nomination, saying his campaign would be "a long shot" and that he could wield the most influence in the Senate.
    • September 16 - John Edwards officially announces his candidacy on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
    • September 17 - retired General Wesley Clark announces his candidacy.
    • September 20 - Occupation of Iraq: Two American soldiers are killed and 13 wounded in a mortar attack in Abu Ghraib, and another soldier dies in a roadside attack in Ramadi, bringing the number of U.S. deaths since the war began to 304, of which 165 occurred after President Bush's "mission accomplished" statement of May 1. [1] A member of the Governing Council, Dr. Aquila al-Hashimi, is shot in an assassination attempt (she dies five days later). United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan strongly condemns the attack and warns that it only undermines the country's political progress. [1] George Bush's approval rating slides down to 50% according to a CNN.com poll, the lowest number since taking office [1]
    • September 25 - Natural Law Party endorses Dennis Kucinich for President.
    • October 6 - Bob Graham announces on Larry King Live that he is ending his presidential campaign.
    • October 10-12 - Reform Party convention in Diamondhead, Mississippi apparently decides not to run a candidate for President.
    • October 22 - Ralph Nader removed his name from the California Green Party presidential primary ballot.
    • October 28 - In a press conference President Bush says the following about the May 1 "Mission Accomplished" banner on the USS Lincoln: "The 'Mission Accomplished' sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed somehow to some ingenious advance man from my staff they weren't that ingenious, by the way."
    • October 28 - In an interview President Bush said the following after massive attacks on US and Iraq police forces in Iraq: "The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react," Bush said as he sat in the Oval Office with L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq. He added: "The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqis become, the more electricity is available, the more jobs are available, the more kids that are going to school, the more desperate these killers become, because they can't stand the thought of a free society."
    • November 1 - In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Howard Dean is quoted as saying "I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks. We can't beat George Bush unless we appeal to a broad cross-section of Democrats." [1] This comment stirs strong controversy among Democratic contenders.
    • November 18 - George W. Bush makes a state visit to London in the midst of massive protests against him.
    • December 9 - Former Vice President Al Gore endorses Howard Dean.
    • December 13 - Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq captured in Tikrit by the US Fourth Infantry Division. George W. Bush's approval rating spikes to 63% as a result, with 34% disapproving, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. [1]
    • December 23 - Ben Manski, co-chairman of the Green Party, announces that Ralph Nader will not run as a Green, but may run as an independent.
  • 2004
    • January 7 - George W. Bush's campaign manager Ken Mehlman announces that the President's re-election campaign raised $130.8 million from 494,000 individual donors during 2003. 415,000 of the 494,000 Bush donors contributed less than $200 each. Reportedly, the goal is to raise between $150 million and $170 million by the mid-summer conventions.
    • January 13 - The non-binding Washington, DC Democratic primary is held with four major candidates on the ballot. Former Howard Dean received 43% of the vote, while Al Sharpton had 34%. Carol Moseley Braun was in third place with 12% followed by Dennis Kucinich who had eight percent. The primary, however, was binding upon the Green Party, making it the Greens' first primary of the season. David Cobb received 37 percent of the vote, Sheila Bilyeu received 19 percent, 13 percent preferred the party not run a candidate, and the remaining 31 percent was distributed among write-in candidates.
    • January 15 - Saying she was proud of "breaking new ground" in her Presidential bid, Carol Moseley Braun drops out of the race and endorses Howard Dean.
    • January 19 - Iowa caucus results: The Iowa cacuses yield unexpectedly strong results for Democratic candidates John Kerry, who earns 38% of the state's delegates and John Edwards, who takes 32%. Former front-runner Howard Dean slips to 18% and third-place, and Richard Gephardt finishes fourth (11%). Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton received minimal support; Joe Lieberman and Wesley Clark had opted not to participate in the Iowa caucuses.
    • January 20 - Following his disappointing showing in Iowa, Dick Gephardt drops out of the Presidential race to return to private life following the expiration of his Congressional term in 2005.
    • January 27 - John Kerry wins the New Hampshire primary with 38.4% of the vote. Howard Dean finishes second with 26.4%, Wesley Clark third with 12.4%, John Edwards fourth with 12.0%, and Joe Lieberman receives 8.6%.

Important future dates

External primary calendars


Electoral College changes from 2000

With the completion of the 2000 census, Congressional re-apportionment took place, moving some representative districts from the slowest growing states to the fastest growing. As a result, some states will send a different number of electors to the U.S. Electoral College, since the number of electors allotted to a state is equal to the sum of the number of Senators and Representatives from that state. Since the results were so close in 2000, this could potentially impact the outcome of the 2004 election.

The following table shows the change in electors from the 2000 election. Red states represent those that Bush won in 2000 and blue states Gore won. All the states listed use a winner-take-all allocation of electors.

  • Arizona (+2)
  • California (+1)
  • Colorado (+1)
  • Connecticut (-1)
  • Florida (+2)
  • Georgia (+2)
  • Illinois (-1)
  • Indiana (-1)
  • Michigan (-1)
  • Mississippi (-1)
  • Nevada (+1)
  • New York (-2)
  • North Carolina (+1)
  • Ohio (-1)
  • Oklahoma (-1)
  • Pennsylvania (-2)
  • Texas (+2)
  • Wisconsin (-1)

External links and references

Election 2004 link directories

Election 2004 global debate and voting

Election news wires

News articles

Election campaign funding

Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.