After nearly eight years, President Bartlet's time in the White House has come to an end, and two formidable men vie for the Presidency: Arnold Vinick, a Republican senator from California, and Matthew Santos, a three-term Houston Democratic congressman. After suffering a heart attack, former Advisor to the President Leo McGarry resolutely serves as Santos' vice presidential running mate, ably assisted by Annabeth Schott. Former Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman keeps his highly regarded political mind in overdrive as Santos' campaign manager.
As everyone but Josh causes Santos to question his choice of Leo as his running mate, Bartlet's investigation into the dangerous press leak continues. Also C.J. gets interviewed by Babish and Donna approaches Josh for a job.
Santos and Vinick have to deal with press fallout when it looks like the Bartlet White House is not going to continue the investigation into the press leaks.
It's three weeks into the presidential campaign and Vinick meets with Frost out on the trail. Santos pulls a stunt which leads to higher approval ratings and jolts the Vinick camp. Vinick and Santos try to kick each other politically while they focus on their messages of the week.
Margaret is interrogated at a hearing held by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Santos deflects religious questions onto Vinick; Someone gives C.J. intelligence information; a Palestinian leader is assassinated and Bartlet wants to attend the funeral despite security concerns. Also, we learn Margaret's last name.
The White House is trying to cope with the revelation of the identity of the leaker and Babish's questioning of Toby convinces him that he must get his lawyer. Lou persuades Josh to get Santos to clean house with his campaign staff. Kate finally reaches Charles Frost and confronts him about what he told to C.J. and a few other things about his personality in general. The Bartlets hear Ellie's heapful of "good" and "bad" news.
Donna is back and she's working for the Santos/McGarry campaign, but not for Josh. An attack ad on Santos by a pro-life group puts Vinick in a corner when Santos demands Vinick renounce it but Vinick knows that if he does it will offend the G.O.P. leadership.
Santos and Vinick battle it out in primetime live. Forrest Saywer the moderator poses questions and attempts to ensure that the candidates remain within bounds. Ellen DeGeneres guest hosts the show on behalf of American Express and their new credit card.
Lou and Santos run into trouble on the road when they try to pick up a family's vote; their child was shot by a Latino police officer. Also, CJ must manage a crisis between China and Kazakhstan.
Santos is working on campaign strategy, Ellie's getting married, Abbey is welcoming guests, Bartlet's making jokes, China and Kazahkstan are about to go to war, Carol makes an appearance, and Josh may get fired.
All eyes are looking forward to the Leo McGarry/Ray Sullivan Vice Presidential debate. Meawhile, Santos is trying not to catch his children's cold and he visits his home in Texas and continues to campaign. Jorge Santos, the Congressman's brother, may cause some problems at a gathering.
The Westins visit Washington and Doug is keeping a secret from Liz that many other senior staffers already know about. C.J. tries to make a deal with the French to try to handle a problem in the Sudan. Gail is in trouble. Josh asks Will for a little help with the campaign. C.J. and Danny go out to dinner and talk like good old friends and C.J. likens men to salmon while dealing with a waitress who is not all that found of her.
Bartlet must deal with the possiblity of a nuclear explosion in California, Kate is keeping a careful watch on the election in Kazakhstan and China's response, Will is acting as the government's voice this week, and Josh is trying to keep his political version of Tourette's in check.
After the near-nuclear disaster at the power plant the polls show surprising, or maybe not so surprising, results for both candidates. The Vinick camp gears up for backlash while the Santos camp hopes for cause to celebrate. Meanwhile Bartlet is still trying to keep the situation in Central Asia under control. Relationships in the Santos campaign, the Vinick campaign, and the West Wing all undergo changes and Vinick and Bartlet attempt to deal with different versions of the cold.
There are only two weeks left before Election Day and both candidates must make difficult choices at a time when they are both extremely tired. Vinick meets a famous athlete who greets him with a welcome that sings possible campaign trouble. Santos doesn't have such trouble with the athlete. Both candidates are campaigning in California with the hopes of stealing the election from the other guy in the hopes of thereby winning the election. Santos' briefcase falls into the hands of the Vinick campaign.
The Santos campaign meets up with Rock the Vote and lots of musicians are around for a star-studded episode. Helen gives a lecture to MANA (a National Latina Organization, formerly Mexican American National Association) but her heritage doesn't help her when trying to deliver part of the Santos campaign message. Toby is being pressured by the Attorney General, Blake, to reveal his source and it's affecting his relationship with his kids. He tries a little psychological warfare of his own to get Blake to back down. Toby is also giving Josh campaign advice which includes plans to increase courtship of the Latino vote. Elsewhere on the campaign trail, it's Halloween and Toby's kids and Santos' kids are dressing up for the occasion.
Election Day finally arrives, and between analyzing exit polls, and mulling over news reports, a few Santos staff members discover the joys of campaign romance. Meanwhile, C.J. ponders life after the White House; and Annabeth makes a tragic discovery.
Abbey is in New Hamphire with Liz Bartlet-Westin and they are awaiting the results of Doug Westin's campaign for a seat in Congress. Members of both the Santos campaign and the Vinick campaign must decide how to handle a tragedy, as the voters around the country continue to cast their votes for the next President of the United States.
Former series regulars, including Marlee Matlin, Mary-Louise Parker, Tim Matheson, Anna Deavere Smith and Gary Cole, make guest appearances as Bartlet, Santos and their staff members attend a funeral for one of their own. Also, Josh cautions Santos about getting involved in the vote for Speaker of the House.
Former cast member Rob Lowe returns as a senior political official in this episode, which finds Bartlet and his staff making the transition as easy as possible for the president-elect, who discovers some unpleasant realities about his new job. Meanwhile, a stressed-out Josh realizes that he may need to take some time off after he reaches his breaking point.
While Santos is busy trying to select a new vice president, his wife finds her new responsibilities staggering. Meanwhile, Vinick ponders his next move.
C.J. and Will both face uncertain futures as Bartlet and his staffers prepare to leave the White House to make way for the Santos administration.
After seven seasons of the Award-winning drama series, the Bartlet Administration prepares to leave the White House and The West Wing. While Santos and his winning camp are nervously gearing up for the presidential inauguration, current President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), CJ (Allison Janney) and the others fondly look back as they prepare to leave the White House forever.