Washington (CNSNews.com) - President Bush remained upbeat and confident as election results poured in Tuesday night, Commerce Secretary Don Evans told supporters at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
"I just came from the White House, meeting with the president, and he wanted me to come by and say thank you," Evans told hundreds of cheering Bush supporters. "He's upbeat, he's optimistic, he's confident."
Evans said Bush would continue to spread freedom and prosperity across the globe in a second term. The secretary, who ran Bush's campaign in 2000, received a rousing ovation when he announced early returns from Florida and Ohio showing Bush in the lead.
Later in the evening, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie told President Bush's supporters to remain patient as votes continue to be tallied in Ohio early Wednesday morning. "Thank you for your patience right now," Gillespie said at 2:30 a.m. "Bear with us."
Gillespie said 1 percent of the vote in Democrat-leaning Cuyahoga County had yet to be counted and Ohio still needed to tabulate its provisional ballots.
But the GOP chairman cautioned that even if Sen. John Kerry performed extremely well on those ballots, he still needed to overcome Bush's 125,000-vote lead. Gillespie said there may be up to 130,000 provisional ballots in Ohio, although there's no evidence Kerry would win a majority of those votes.
Getting those provisional ballots counted also remains a challenge since they must be reviewed by election officials.
Gillespie concluded, "The 123,000-vote margin compared to those percentages of provisional ballots and the 1 percent of Cuyahoga County that has yet to come in is unlikely to affect the outcome."
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