Gorton defeated unofficially

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NOVEMBER 24, 2000

Once again, Republican Senator Slade Gorton has been handed his walking papers in his race against Democrat Maria Cantwell.

But unlike the early defeat the media awarded the senior Senator from Washington on election night, it looks like this prognosis will stick. And while Gorton hasn't conceded defeat just yet, he has issued a statement saying he is "cautiously pessimistic" about the final outcome of the race.

Gorton's final fate won't be known, however, until an automatic recount is complete. It is expected to begin next Wednesday and although there is no set time schedule, it should be over in a few days.

Until then, voters in the country will remember the wait as one of the most dramatic. Cantwell's early lead was destroyed the morning after election night as counties from eastern Washington, which Gorton carried easily, reported their results.

Even as Gorton's lead gradually shrunk, it looked like Cantwell might never recover. That changed this week, as more votes from western Washington were counted, eventually giving Cantwell a 1,953-vote advantage over Gorton.

According to Wednesday's election results, Cantwell captured 1,199,260 votes, or 48.72%. She won a total of five out of 39 counties, including two of the state's most populous.

Gorton, on the other hand, captured 1,197,307 votes, or 48.64%. In some counties, particularly those in the Columbia River basin, he won almost two-thirds of the vote.

Get the latest numbers:
Washington State General Election (Washington Secretary of State)

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