EASTON, Md., February 18, 2012 — Two dozen towns in Washington County, Maine finally held their caucus today and the upset that the Ron Paul supporters were hoping for didn’t materialize. Paul chipped away at Romney’s lead, getting 83 votes. But Romney still leads Paul statewide by 156 votes.
The latest tally for Washington County, according to The Associated Press, shows Paul garnered 163 votes in the Saturday caucus, Romney 80 votes, Rick Santorum 57, and Newt Gingrich 4.
Last week the Maine Republican Party declared Mitt Romney the winner even though Washington County was unable to hold its caucus due to snow. A firestorm quickly erupted, engulfing Maine Republican chairman Charlie Webster with Waldo County demanding his censure.
Insult to presumed injury, Webster also said he would be not including the results from today’s caucus in the final totaling of votes.
Then he said the Maine GOP executive committee would meet and decide three weeks from now on March 10, which is after Super Tuesday March 6, to announce whether the totals from Washington County would be allowed.
However, today Webster relented and released the results to the media a short time ago. Webster had angered Paul supporters who saw Washington County as their chance to topple Romney and have insisted the results be recorded. Webster in turn called Ron Paul supporters “conspiracy theorists.”
In all fairness, it is hard not to be a bit paranoid when votes were never recorded from 12 towns in Waldo County on the night of the original caucuses or there is talk about not including votes from Washington County in the official results.
Webster is the same gentleman that caused a national hullabaloo last summer when he alleged voter fraud among Maine college students and tried to prevent thousands of student voters from voting in the 2012 elections.
Ron Paul has said all along that the caucus results are straw polls and thus non-binding. He looks to the state GOP convention, which will apportion Maine’s delegates to the national convention to be held in Tampa this August.
Those in the know believe Paul will aggregate enough delegates, not to win the convention, but to become a force to be reckoned with.
No doubt about it, the GOP convention is shaping up to be a doozy.
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