Posted Wednesday, Nov. 3, 3:20 p.m.
Sen. John Kerry conceded the presidency to George W. Bush Wednesday afternoon after all-night speculation about Ohio’s electoral votes ended in a clear Bush victory in the state.
Bush’s 274 electoral votes, including Ohio’s 20, put him over the 270-vote threshold needed to win the election. With Iowa and New Mexico still counting ballots, Kerry received 252 electoral votes.
At a 2 p.m. speech in downtown Boston, Kerry conceded defeat and said he congratulated Bush on the victory.
“I would not give up this fight if there was a chance we would prevail,” Kerry told a cheering group of supporters.
With shades of the 2000 election debacle still in Americans’ minds, former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards said his party would ensure that “every vote counts.”
Bush gave an acceptance speech later in the afternoon at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, telling supporters he was humbled by their confidence in him.
“A campaign has ended, and the United States of America goes forward with confidence and faith,” he said.
News of Bush’s victory was met with jubilation from Republican students, some of whom traveled to highly contested states earlier this week in a last-minute push for a Bush win.
“I’m doing excellent this morning,” said senior Chrissy Trotta, president of the GW College Republicans, who returned Wednesday from campaigning in Michigan, a state won by Kerry. “It was a crazy night last night. We got no sleep … but we’re all really happy now.”
Trotta was waiting with a group of College Republicans for the president to give his victory speech.
“I’m very happy, especially at this campus,” said junior Nick Nelson, making reference to a strongly Democratic campus. “It’s redemption.”
Students on the left of the political spectrum seemed downcast at news of Kerry’s concession, but some said they expected the president would eventually win.
“After last night, I expected (Kerry) to concede, but not this early,” senior Andrew Dualan said.