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Bush declares victory in race

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Kerry faced a daunting road to an electoral majority but nothing was settled or conceded as election night slipped away.

"We are convinced that President Bush has won re-election," said White House chief of staff Andy Card. But that conviction did not sway Democrats, who insisted Kerry was still in contention for Ohio's decisive cache of 20 electoral votes.

And so the nation faced another mystery at sunrise, just as it had in the tangled dawn of Election 2000.

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