Warning: Spoilers

Jessica Alaimo at PolitickerME is presenting a great four-part series today on the history and future of the Maine Green-Independent party.

One quibble: in the piece on past elections involving the Greens, neither Alaimo nor her subjects can seem to come up with a race where the Greens are assumed to have played a role as spoilers. This ignores a very important piece of Maine history, the 1992 2nd district congressional race won by Olympia Snowe. Pat McGowan (D) got 42% of the vote, Snowe clocked in at 49% and Green-Independent Jonathan Carter recieved 9%. McGowan had nearly tied Snowe two years before and was expected to do even better in '92 until the Greens got involved. Here's how Maine political historian Christian Potholm describes the race:

[McGowan] might well have defeated [Snowe] if it had not been for the Green Party, which siphoned off a number of votes which would most likely have gone to him.


No matter what your political persuasion, you have to admit that Maine politics would be very different today if Olympia Snowe had been defeated for office 16 years ago.