The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. Foreign policy was the dominant theme throughout the election campaign, particularly Bush's conduct of the War on Terrorism and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
As in the 2000 presidential election, voting controversies and concerns of irregularities emerged during and after the vote. The winner was not determined until the following day, when Kerry decided not to dispute Bush's win in the state of Ohio. The state held enough electoral votes to determine the winner of the presidency. Both Kerry and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean have stated their opinion that voting in Ohio did not proceed fairly and that, had it done so, the Democratic ticket might have won that state and therefore the election. However, there was far less controversy about this election than in 2000.
This map is shaded by how large the popular vote difference was between the two nominees. It is a way to view the relative competitiveness of each state. These maps are also available as a timeline for each election from 1972-2016.