The Most Authentic Republican in America

The following is an excerpt from The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It by Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague which will be published by Atlantic Monthly Press on January 4. The book records the story of what happened in the six swing states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—between November 3 and January 6 through the eyes of participants on both sides, those who believed there was widespread voter fraud and those who, after investigating and finding no evidence of it, defended the election results. It is based on original interviews conducted by the authors and the team of researchers and reporters who worked on the book, as well as public records, court testimony, and open legislative hearings.

Matthew Teague (left) and Mark Bowden (right). (Photographs by Akasha Rabut and Pascal Perich.).

In Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, a small city that wraps around the lower edge of Lake Winnebago, Rohn Bishop hosted a celebration on Election Night at Republican Party headquarters.

Inside a big, low, square building just two blocks south of the lakefront, about 60 people watched as Fox News reported the election results. The windowless, fluorescent-lit room was decked with Trump banners, small American flags, and movable wall panels studded with campaign buttons. The mood was festive. All the local Republican candidates were winning, and so was Trump at first. Then when Fox called Arizona for Biden, a chorus of boos went up, and Bishop could see trouble ahead; he knew the Arizona result suggested danger for the president everywhere. Mail ballots, which would take longer to count, were going to swing heavily to Biden—Trump had helped ensure it.

Bishop wasn’t happy about it. Few had invested more in Trump’s reelection or cared more. 

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