Outcome of Presidential Race Still Undecided; Bush Administration Expresses Confidence of Winning Ohio
The outcome of the presidential race is still undecided, but the Bush administration has expressed confidence in winning Ohio, whose 20 Electoral College votes are crucial in the outcome, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Coile, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/3). President Bush leads in the popular vote by more than 3.7 million votes and is close to winning the key battleground state of Ohio, although the results remain too close to call, CNN.com reports (CNN.com, 11/3). However, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry's (Mass.) campaign said it would not concede defeat until all the votes in Ohio were counted, the Los Angeles Times reports (Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 11/3). Bush currently has a projected 254 electoral votes and Kerry has a projected 252 electoral votes. Bush leads in Ohio by more than 136,000 votes, with 100% of the precincts reporting, according to CNN.com (CNN.com, 11/3). However, the Kerry campaign said it believes the vote could be decided on provisional ballots -- those submitted by people who were unable to vote because their names were not on registration rolls -- which have not yet been counted completely, the New York Times reports (Nagourney, New York Times, 11/3). Ohio's top election officials said it could take more than a week to count all the votes, according to the Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times, 11/3). White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card early on Wednesday said that the Bush campaign is "convinced" that Bush has won re-election "with at least 286 electoral votes" (CNN.com, 11/3). The election outcome could affect the United States' response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Bush last year launched the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which is a five-year, $15 billion program that directs funding to 15 focus countries, including Botswana, Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Haiti, Guyana and Vietnam. Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) has said that if elected he and Kerry would push to double the amount of PEPFAR funding to $30 billion (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/2).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.