What if John Kerry had been elected President in 2004, defeating incumbent George W Bush?

John F. Kerry

In my view, this is an underrated PoD. A different President in 2004 could have produced many changes and led to many butterflies in history, not necessarily good or bad ones. And so I think that this alternate history is something we should look at. The Point of Divergence here is that without Kerry's (in)famous "for it before I was against it" gaffe, his image is a bit better and he is able to triumph.


In the closing days of the 2004 United States presidential election, the race was a nail-biter on par with 2000. The Kerry/Edwards ticket challenged President George W Bush, claiming he lied America into a war in Iraq and opposing Bush's domestic, conservative agenda(despite having also voted for the Iraq War). The incumbent, Republican Bush/Cheney ticket backed up their War on Terror, charging that Kerry was a bleeding-heart liberal who was soft on terrorism. Ultimately, the election came down to Ohio, and there Kerry triumphed by just over a thousand votes.

Democrat(Red) 284 electoral votes 49.3% of the popular vote

Republican(Blue) 254 electoral votes 49.7% of the popular vote

2004 election-0

It was a reversal of the 2000 election, and the rest of the month was dominated, as in 2000, with recounts and controversy. Yet ultimately, John Kerry emerged as the 44th President of the United States. But with a paltry mandate(if it could be called a mandate) and obstacles all around, there was no time for the new President to rest on his laurels. And so on January 20, 2005, John Forbes Kerry took the oath of office and America, at least temporarily, had gone on a different path than if Bush had been where Kerry was. The question now was : what was down the different path?

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