The 2020 election was historic. Voter turnout records were smashed: Some 160 million Americans voted — the largest number ever, comprising 67% of eligible voters, the highest turnout rate in 120 years. In Vermont, over 360,000 voters turned out, exceeding the previous record of 327,000 votes cast in 2008. Former Vice President Joe Biden won Vermont with 66% of the vote (up from 56% for Hillary Clinton in 2016), while President Trump received 30% of the Vermont vote, the same proportion as he received in 2016. Nationally, Biden received the highest number of votes ever by a U.S. presidential candidate, topping Barack Obama’s 2008 total, and currently has a 3.5 million vote lead over President Trump.
In Vermont, Republican Gov. Phil Scott was elected to a third term with a stunning 40 percentage-point victory over Democratic nominee David Zuckerman. And in another historic result, Molly Gray was elected as just the fourth woman to hold the office of lieutenant governor.
We discuss the national election results with Stuart Stevens, a former top strategist for George W. Bush’s two presidential campaigns and also a lead strategist for the 2012 Republican presidential candidate. In the 2020 race, Stevens was part of The Lincoln Project, a group of Republican strategists who worked to defeat Trump. Stevens is author of It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump.
We dissect the results of the Vermont election with Anne Galloway, founder and editor of VTDigger, and Xander Landen, VTDigger’s political reporter.
For 25 years, Stuart Stevens was a leading strategist and media consultant to top Republican politicians, helping to elect presidents, senators, congressman, and governors. He was top strategist for 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and he worked on both of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns. Stevens, who lives in Vermont, has just written a book, It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump. He argues that Trump did not hijack the Republican party, he is the natural outcome of five decades of the party’s hypocrisy, racism and self delusion. (August 8, 2020 broadcast)
Stuart Stevens, former Republican strategist, author, It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump
Stuart Stevens has been a top Republican strategist in the presidential election campaigns of Mitt Romney and George W. Bush. But Stevens has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump and now describes himself as “homeless” in his own party. He talks about why he wrongly predicted Trump could not win, how Trump has used racism as a core strategy, why fellow Republicans have backed him, and how the GOP has “lost its soul.” Trump has tweeted that Stevens is a “dumb guy” and a “clown.” An author of seven books, Stevens, a part-time Vermont resident, also discusses growing up in Mississippi and his book about spending a season watching football with his 95 year old father. (December 20, 2017 broadcast)