Romney takes Maine Caucuses

Despite almost the entire panoply of elected Republican leaders in Maine endorsing John McCain's candidacy, Mitt Romney turned his people out in droves and took the state caucuses by a more than 2-1 margin over the Arizona Senator:



Mitt Romney coasted to a win in presidential preference voting by Maine Republicans on Saturday, claiming his third victory in a caucus state and fourth overall.

The former Massachusetts governor had 52 percent of the vote with 68 percent of the towns holding caucuses reporting. John McCain trailed with 21 percent, Ron Paul was third with 19 percent, and Mike Huckabee had 6 percent. Undecided votes accounted for 2 percent.

The nonbinding votes, the first step toward electing 18 Maine delegates to the Republican National Convention, took place in public schools, Grange halls, fire stations and town halls across the state.

The Associated Press uses presidential preferences expressed in those caucuses to project the number of national convention delegates each candidate will have when they are chosen at Maine's state convention, calculating that Romney will wind up with all 18 delegates when all is said and done.
Turnout was very high despite an ice storm that covered much of the state. It would be tempting for Romney supporters to read too much into this victory but there are some interesting anomalies in the vote.

First, Maine should have set itself up to be McCain territory. The state has a history of electing independent minded politicians, being represented in the Senate today by two moderate GOP members in Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Second, the Republican establishment endorsed McCain almost unanimously.

Perhaps most significantly, McCain was supposed to have all the momentum going into the caucuses. As it turns out, organization trumped momentum in this case and Romney walked away with a win.

Nationally, a new
ABC/Washington Post poll shows McCain with a 24 point lead on Romney. But then, the Rasmussen Daily Tracking poll has the two candidates even. Since every other poll shows Romney trailing from 12-20 points, it is hard to  take the Rasmussen poll as a reflection of the true state of the race.

New state polls also have McCain comfortably ahead in most of the Super Tuesday states. It appears that McCain is headed for a decisive win on Tuesday.
Despite almost the entire panoply of elected Republican leaders in Maine endorsing John McCain's candidacy, Mitt Romney turned his people out in droves and took the state caucuses by a more than 2-1 margin over the Arizona Senator:



Mitt Romney coasted to a win in presidential preference voting by Maine Republicans on Saturday, claiming his third victory in a caucus state and fourth overall.

The former Massachusetts governor had 52 percent of the vote with 68 percent of the towns holding caucuses reporting. John McCain trailed with 21 percent, Ron Paul was third with 19 percent, and Mike Huckabee had 6 percent. Undecided votes accounted for 2 percent.

The nonbinding votes, the first step toward electing 18 Maine delegates to the Republican National Convention, took place in public schools, Grange halls, fire stations and town halls across the state.

The Associated Press uses presidential preferences expressed in those caucuses to project the number of national convention delegates each candidate will have when they are chosen at Maine's state convention, calculating that Romney will wind up with all 18 delegates when all is said and done.
Turnout was very high despite an ice storm that covered much of the state. It would be tempting for Romney supporters to read too much into this victory but there are some interesting anomalies in the vote.

First, Maine should have set itself up to be McCain territory. The state has a history of electing independent minded politicians, being represented in the Senate today by two moderate GOP members in Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Second, the Republican establishment endorsed McCain almost unanimously.

Perhaps most significantly, McCain was supposed to have all the momentum going into the caucuses. As it turns out, organization trumped momentum in this case and Romney walked away with a win.

Nationally, a new
ABC/Washington Post poll shows McCain with a 24 point lead on Romney. But then, the Rasmussen Daily Tracking poll has the two candidates even. Since every other poll shows Romney trailing from 12-20 points, it is hard to  take the Rasmussen poll as a reflection of the true state of the race.

New state polls also have McCain comfortably ahead in most of the Super Tuesday states. It appears that McCain is headed for a decisive win on Tuesday.