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The United States presidential election of 2004 was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004, to elect the President of the United States. It was the 55th consecutive quadrennial election for President and Vice President. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President John McCain defeated Democratic Party candidate Howard Dean, the former Governor of Vermont. Foreign policy and the economy was the dominant theme throughout the election campaign, particularly McCain's conduct of the War on Terrorism, the War in Afghanistan and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. McCain capitalized on his popularity and experience while Dean's campaign suffered from several miscues.
Four states changed allegiance. Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Wisconsin voted Democratic in 2000, but voted Republican in 2004. The election also marked the first time in U.S. history that Washington, D.C. went for a Republican candidate. In the Electoral College, McCain received 420 votes, and Dean 118.