By now, you’ve surely heard the theory being peddled by some Trump surrogates that his response last night to the question of whether he would accept the election results was tantamount to Al Gore contesting the results of the 2000 election.
Here’s why that isn’t a fair comparison:
• Gore never made proclamations about the election being rigged to save face—or insinuate that he wouldn’t accept the results of the election prior to the election even taking place.
• Gore conceded to George W. Bush and only withdrew his concession upon realizing that Florida had been awarded to Bush prematurely. Gore’s request for a manual recount came only after it became clear that it was too close to call (and that poor ballot design had confused voters in Palm Beach county).
• The race was actually extremely close! In official results, Bush won the presidency with an additional 537 votes in Florida. By contrast, FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only election forecast currently gives Hillary Clinton an 86.7% chance of winning.