Following is the full text of the letter Sen. John Kerry sent to his supporters outlining his decision to concede defeat in the presidential election:
Earlier today I spoke to President Bush, and offered him and Laura our congratulations on their victory. We had a good conversation, and we talked about the danger of division in our country and the need, the desperate need, for unity for finding the common ground, coming together. Today, I hope that we can begin the healing.
In America, it is vital that every vote counts, and that every vote be counted. But the outcome should be decided by voters, not a protracted legal process. I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail. But it is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won’t be enough outstanding votes for our campaign to be able to win Ohio. And therefore, we cannot win this election.
It was a privilege and a gift to spend two years traveling this country, coming to know so many of you. I wish I could just wrap you in my arms and embrace each and every one of you individually all across this nation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
To all of you, my volunteers and online supporters, all across this country who gave so much of themselves, thank you. Thanks to William Field, a six-year-old who collected $680, a quarter and a dollar at a time selling bracelets during the summer to help change America. Thanks to Michael Benson from Florida who I spied in a rope line holding a container of money. It turned out he raided his piggy bank and wanted to contribute. And thanks to Alana Wexler, who at 11 years old and started Kids for Kerry.
I thank all of you, who took time to travel, time off from work, and their own vacation time to work in states far and wide. You braved the hot days of summer and the cold days of the fall and the winter to knock on doors because you were determined to open the doors of opportunity to all Americans. You worked your hearts out, and I say, don’t lose faith. What you did made a difference, and building on itself, we will go on to make a difference another day. I promise you, that time will come — the election will come when your work and your ballots will change the world, and it's worth fighting for.
I'm proud of what we stood for in this campaign, and of what we accomplished. When we began, no one thought it was possible to even make this a close race, but we stood for real change, change that would make a real difference in the life of our nation, the lives of our families, and we defined that choice to America. I'll never forget the wonderful people who came to our rallies, who stood in our rope lines, who put their hopes in our hands, who invested in each and every one of us. I saw in them the truth that America is not only great, but it is good.
So here — with a grateful heart, I leave this campaign with a prayer that has even greater meaning to me now that I've come to know our vast country so much better and that prayer is very simple: God bless America.