US Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore gained 49 percent of the popular vote in Tuesday's presidential election, finishing one percentage point ahead of his Republican rival, George W. Bush, election data showed.
Gore won 48,976,148 votes compared to Bush's 48,783,510, the updated count showed.
Green Party candidate Ralph Nader came in third with 2,670,235 votes, or three percent of the ballot.
However, Gore's victory in the popular vote was of little consolation to the vice president, who is anxiously awaiting the outcome of a vote recount in Florida, the state that will determine the winner in the presidential race.
"Despite the fact that Joe Lieberman and I won the popular vote, under our Constitution, it is the winner of the Electoral College who will be the next president," Gore said in Nashville, Tennessee, Wednesday.
A presidential candidate must secure 270 votes in the 538-member Electoral College to win the White House.
At the moment, Gore has 260 electoral votes against 246 for Bush.
Florida, where Bush's razor-thin advantage in Tuesday's balloting has triggered an automatic recount, has 25 electoral votes. Also outstanding are seven electoral votes in Oregon.
The last US president to be elected without winning the popular vote was Benjamin Harrison in 1888 -- WASHINGTON (AFP)
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