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The Road to Now

Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Ben Sawyer (MTSU History) share conversations with great thinkers from a variety of backgrounds – historians, artists, legal scholars, political figures and more –who help us uncover the many roads that run between past and present. For more information, visit TheRoadToNow.com If you'd like to support our work, join us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow
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Now displaying: Page 1
Apr 1, 2024

Hear the extended version of this episode by supporting The Road to Now on Patreon! Click here to join.

 

On December 13, 2000, Democratic Candidate Al Gore conceded that year’s Presidential Election to Republican George W. Bush. Gore’s concession speech marked a dramatic conclusion to an election that had been contested for more than a month, with partisans from both major parties flocking to Florida to recount ballots in hopes that the few hundred votes that separated the candidates would fall in their favor. Ultimately, however, the final decision on the election came from the Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 to stop the recount, handing Florida’s 25 electoral votes, and thus the Presidency, to George W. Bush who carried the state with just 537 more votes than Gore.

 

The election of 2000 was unusual in several ways. It was the first time an election was decided by a Supreme Court ruling. It was the first election since 1888 in which the winner of the popular vote lost the election. And despite the dramatic scenes that came out of those days between the election and Gore’s concession, and the many passionate criticisms leveled by Democrats- that the electoral college was undemocratic, that the Supreme Court had usurped the election, that voters for Ralph Nader and other third party candidates had handed the election to Bush- few critics pointed to the fact that only 50.3% of eligible voters showed up to the polls- the second lowest turnout in American history.

 

Why was the election of 2000 so uninteresting to so many voters? Why did the Supreme Court decide to intervene in the election, and was it a case of judicial overreach, as so many critics claimed? And in the end, is it fair to say that those who voted for Nader and other third party candidates were the deciding factor in the election? Let’s find out.

 

Welcome to the Road to Now’s Third Party Election Series. Today, part 7: The election of 2000 w/ Doug Heye.

 

Doug Heye is a political commentator who previously served as Communications Director for the Republican National Committee and Deputy Chief of Staff for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. You can follow him on twitter at @DougHeye.

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

 

 

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