Forum quote 6.7

By Jack Russell

As Mainers gear up for primaries, I reflect on political parties in our time. Many think that two stable major parties have long orchestrated American politics. The Democratic and Republican Parties have dominated national political life for 164 years and 42 presidential elections. Only once since 1856 did the presidential candidate of any other party finish even second. (Teddy Roosevelt took 28 percent of the vote in 1912 as a Bull Moose Progressive.) Since the Civil War, other third party candidates have won Electoral College votes only four times.