It's now likely Republicans are headed toward a contested convention in July. But they might be headed toward more than that â the party could be on its way to an internal version of the 2000 election, the race in which the candidate who lost the popular vote won the presidency, leaving injured feelings and diminished faith in the legitimacy of the electoral system.*And it could be worse than that. The 2000 winner of the popular vote, Al Gore, lost the presidency because of the constitutional structure under which electors, not popular vote totals, determine who enters the White House. Seeing the popular vote loser, George W. Bush, win the election was unfortunate â it hadn't happened since the 19th Century â but it was specifically provided for in the Constitution. Democrats unhappily accepted the result because they accepted the Constitution as the bedrock of our system of government.