''Magical missing year?'' Did the Year Five season ender or Year Six's opening episode hint at missing material? Or is this the period when Sorkin actually left?
Did you ever wonder why the primaries for the next presidential election occur only two years after Bartlet's re-election? That's the missing year.
The show never mentions the missing year, and there's no place that it could possibly fit in the storyline, that's why it's so magical. The upcoming 2004 midterm elections are mentioned towards the end of season 5, but towards the start of season 6 those elections are referred as having happened a year prior. That suggests that the Gaza crisis lasted a full year, but that makes absolutely no sense.
When asked about it in an interview once, John Wells attempted a Jedi mind trick and claimed that there was no missing year and that The West Wing began one and a half years into Bartlet's presidency. This is flatly contradicted by what the characters say in season 1 and the fact that Bartlet's re-election took place in season 4. So John Wells was either lying in that interview to deflect from the hames he made of the timeline, or he genuinely had no idea what was going on on his own show.