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Senator Kerry Concedes Defeat

(file photo) 3 November 2004 -- Senator John Kerry has publicly conceded the U.S. presidential race to incumbent George W. Bush.

Kerry told supporters at a hall in his hometown of Boston that it has become obvious he could not win the crucial electoral votes in the state of Ohio.

"I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail," Kerry said. "But it is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted -- which they will be -- there won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio, and therefore we cannot win this election."

The result of the election had boiled down to who would win the electoral votes from the state of Ohio, necessary for either candidate to reach the 270 electoral votes required to secure victory.

Kerry said that he spoke to Bush and offered him his congratulations. He said he hopes that today, "they can begin the healing" after a divisive race.

Bush was expected to make his victory speech in Washington shortly afterward.


[For reaction from around the world to the U.S. presidential election, see RFE/RL's webpage "World Reacts To U.S. Election".]