MSNBC host Joy Reid insisted that Al Gore lost to George Bush in the 2000 election by 538 votes, confusing the margin with the total number of votes in the electoral college.
The mainstream media host insisted on Twitter that the political polling site FiveThirtyEight exists “because 538 was the margin in FL when the Republican SCOTUS reversed the 2000 election during a recount.” She continues, using this faulty logic to dispel the chances of the election flipping in favor of President Trump.
Here's the thing: the reason there's a thing called @FiveThirtyEight is because 538 was the margin in FL when the Republican SCOTUS reversed the 2000 election during a recount, making Dubya the president. That's the kind of margin where races can flip. That's not what's up now.
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) November 10, 2020
538, however, corresponds to the number of electors in the electoral college. In fact, FiveThirtyEight’s frequently asked questions page prominently displays the site’s founder’s rationale for naming the site as linked to the electoral college.
Gore lost to Bush by 537 votes in Florida in 2000.