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Scholar and avid campaign watcher Christian P. Potholm brings to bear his enthusiasm for politics, and his intricate understanding of campaign strategy, in This Splendid Game: Maine Campaigns and Elections, 1940-2002. For each decade covered, Potholm briefly outlines all of Maine's U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and gubernatorial elections, then delves deeper into one campaign. He examines how Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman elected to the Senate, in 1948. He looks into which factors enabled the 'Muskie revolution,' beginning when Maine's long-in-power Republican party lost the governorship to the Democrat Ed Muskie in 1954, and cresting in the Democrat Ken Curtis's hard-fought gubernatorial re-election victory in 1970. He explores how the Republican counter-revolution took hold when Bill Cohen was elected to Congress in 1972, after having won many voters by walking about 600 miles across the state; and why in 1974 and 1994 Mainers chose Independent governors, respectively James Longley, Sr., and Angus King. And he examines how the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant survived the 1980 referendum on its possible shut-down. Throughout the book, Potholm focuses especially on the dynamics of candidates' and groups' use of polling and the media. This Splendid Game yields valuable insights into politics in Maine and the art of the political campaign.
Chapter 1 This Splendid Game Chapter 2 The 1940s: Margaret Chase Smith vs. Adrian Scolten Chapter 3 The 1950s: Edmund S. Muskie vs. Burton M. Cross Chapter 4 The 1960s: Kenneth M. Curtis vs. James S. Erwin Chapter 5 The 1970s: William S. Cohen vs. Elmer Violette Chapter 6 The 1980s: The Maine Yankee Referendum Chapter 7 The 1990s: Angus King vs. Joseph E. Brennan vs. Susan Collins Chapter 8 The Case for Campaigns