Ron Paul’s massive momentum continues! On the heels of a strong second-place finish in Minnesota earlier this week, Ron Paul just had another near-victory in Maine. The Congressman secured an amazing 36% of the vote, by far his highest percentage in the race up to now.
While Ron Paul had been a favorite to win the state, Mitt Romney’s money machine desperately scuffled for a last-minute win in an effort to paper over the Governor’s three disastrous losses in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado earlier this week. Unfortunately that strategy paid off and Mitt Romney just barely overtook Ron Paul for a 39% first place finish.
- Mitt Romney 39.2% (2,190 votes)
- Ron Paul 35.7% (1,996 votes)
- Rick Santorum 17.7% (989 votes)
- Newt Gingrich 6.2% (349 votes)
(Final results with 83.7% of precincts reporting — see explanation at bottom of post)
Why are only 83.7% of precincts reporting? Could the official results still change?
Washington County (pop. 32,856) postponed its caucuses due to the threat of 1-3″ of snow (which did not materialize). They will be voting next Saturday. However, Maine GOP Executive Director Michael Quatrano announced that the official results are permanent and will not be changed when the new votes come in.
Washington County GOP Chairman Chris Gardner objected, saying he had known his county’s tally wouldn’t be included in Saturday’s announcement but didn’t realize it wouldn’t be counted at all. He said he had called state party leaders and “expressed my complete and utter dismay.”
Some have called Washington County a “Ron Paul stronghold” that could have propelled Ron Paul to a Maine victory. Ron Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton suggested that the Romney campaign was involved in the cancellation of the caucus as Paul’s campaign had expected to do well: “It’s not completely insidious, but they knew we were going to swamp it up there.”
In 2008 Ron Paul got 8 out of 113 votes (7%) while Mitt Romney received 40 out of 113 votes (35%) in the county. If Romney had remained stagnant at 40 votes and Ron Paul had received an additional 227 votes (+ 8 ) in Washington County, Paul would have won Maine.