Ron Paul: Who Won Maine?


You have probably heard over the weekend that Mitt Romney won the nonbinding straw poll that arose from Maine's caucuses over the past week (or so), 39 to Ron Paul's 36, despite some hopes expressed by Paul's fans and campaigns he could win the poll outright.

Well, maybe. Some good old fashioned complications in the narrative from the world around Ron Paul:

*First, those results are nonbinding; the delegate selection process won't be finished until May

. Even if things fall our roughly proportionately, that still, according to the very useful Greenpapers, will have Romney and Paul each snatching 8 of the state's 24 delegates.

*But Paul's campaign is confident that they will do far better than proportional, and that they will "control the Maine delegation" as per this press release:

Paul performed well throughout the state, although his campaign's stronghold of Washington County did not report today for inexplicable reasons. Congressman Paul was barely bested by Gov. Romney by about 194 votes, a margin the campaign is confident it will make up with the 200 plus votes expected to come out of Washington County's caucus.

"Today's results show once again that Congressman Paul's campaign for liberty and a return to Constitutional principles is strong and growing," said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton. "We are confident that we will control the Maine delegation for the convention in August. Our campaign is so thankful to all of our supporters in Maine, and all over the nation, and we want them to know that we plan to take this message all the way to the White House."

*More on the mystery of Washington County's caucus, from the Portland Press Herald:

The Paul campaign says a local caucus meeting in Washington County that was canceled Saturday afternoon because of a snowstorm would have provided the margin of victory over Romney.

But Maine GOP Chairman Charlie Webster is standing behind the results showing that Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, won the nonbinding presidential straw poll by 194 votes.

Washington County GOP Chairman Chris Gardner says he is pushing for his county's votes to be counted next weekend, but conceded that it seems improbable those votes could provide Paul what he needs to overcome Romney's statewide lead.

Still, "The people of Washington County, they certainly deserve to have their votes counted," said Gardner. "We are going to proceed and we will push to have our votes counted."…

The Paul campaign also cried foul.

"In Washington County – where Ron Paul was incredibly strong – the caucus was delayed until next week just so the votes wouldn't be reported by the national media today," said John Tate, Paul's campaign manager, in a statement late Saturday night. Tate dismissed the rationale that the caucus had to be canceled due to snow, saying the weather wasn't that bad.

"The votes of Washington County would have been enough to put us over the top," he said….

That would have been a great media victory–"frontrunner" Romney bested again, this time, for the first time, by Ron Paul–but again, nonbinding on the actual eventual delegates voting for candidates in Tampa later this year. John Tate's full comments on the Washington County non-count.

*Nate Silver at New York Times runs the numbers on the meaning of Washington County to the possible final straw poll results, and says Paul would have to pull out an Iowa-level turnout miracle of his folk to sway the outcome:

All if this will be moot unless Mr. Paul is able to make up 194 votes in the county.

Based on how the county voted in 2008, that seems unlikely. Just 113 votes total were cast in the county in 2008, and only 8 of those were for Mr. Paul. John McCain, instead, won the plurality.

In addition, Mr. Romney narrowly won the two counties, Hancock and Penobscot, that border Washington County to the west and which are probably the best demographic match for it — although Mr. Paul won sparsely-populated Aroostook County, which borders it to the north, where he took 81 votes to Mr. Romney's 26.

However, Washington County might theoretically have some untapped potential for Mr. Paul. It is rural and relatively poor — demographics that tend to suit him more than Mr. Romney. And it is relatively conservative, having split its vote about evenly between Barack Obama and Mr. McCain in 2008 when Mr. Obama won Maine as a whole fairly easily.

What such an outcome would require is for Mr. Paul's campaign to make a concerted effort to turn out any supporters it has in the area. There are 6,907 registered Republicans in Washington County, and another 8,247 unaffiliated registered voters, who are eligible to participate by changing their registration to Republican at the caucus site. Unregistered voters, for that matter, are also free to participate provided that they register at the caucus site.

Imagine, for instance, that voters turned out in the county at a rate comparable the Iowa caucuses, where Mr. Paul had a strong turnout operation. In Iowa, 122,255 Republicans participated in the caucuses as compared to a total of 644,220 voters who were registered as Republican prior to caucus night.

Were turnout in Washington County to occur at the Iowa rate, it would produce about 1,300 participants at the caucuses,

enough to swing the outcome if Mr. Paul received about 15 percent more of their votes than Mr. Romney.   

*The Bangor Daily News on some delegate voting discrepencies in Portland.

*Waldo County, which held its caucus the week before, also had its votes not counted, organizer Raymond St. Onge explains, and says Paul won there, edging out Santorum by two votes.

*U.S. News and World Report on Paul's disappointment:

"You know, we were a little bit disappointed last night," theTexas congressman told CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday, hours after losing Maine. "We did very well up there. But we're going to continue to do what we do, and do the very best and keep accumulating delegates."

He declined to criticize Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, but did throw some zingers at the other two candidates in the GOP presidential race, former House SpeakerNewt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

"Their records are far from being conservative," Paul said.

*Although CPAC was Ron Paul-less, the head of the American Conservative Union tells the Washington Times they can't ignore him:

"It would be a dramatic error for the winning campaign to disavow Ron Paul's contributions to the process," said Al Cardenas, chairman of theAmerican Conservative Union, which hosted the CPAC gathering. "I am a firm believer that Ron Paul has found a niche and found a movement that he wants to have a voice. It may not be a majority movement, but it's a growing movement. So, if we are smart, he's going to have his fair opportunity at convention, and a platform committee to have his points of views discussed and expressed.

He added, "Any winning campaign of the nomination, if it is not his, should embrace him and his followers if we are going to win in November."…

David Keene, former ACU chairman, said the party's slow embrace of Paul supporters reminded him of how Republicans were reluctant to welcome the evangelicals who followed Pat Robertson into the political fray during his 1988 presidential bid. In one instance, Mr. Keene recalled, a national committeeman likened attending a Robertson campaign meeting to "the bar scene in 'Star Wars.' "

"Party leaders, like the leader of any club, love to have your dues, or your vote in this case, but they really don't want you hanging around voting for the offices or the leadership," Mr. Keene said. "[Evangelicals] came in, they were attracted by Pat Robertson, who couldn't get nominated, but attracted hundreds of thousands of millions of people. Some of those people went home because they were just attracted to him, as will some of the Paul people, and some of them stuck around, and today a lot of them are leaders in the party."

My forthcoming book, Ron Paul's Revolution.


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  1. First!

    1. Santorum’s “yummy tears” daughter on the right:…..1312_A.jpg

      1. That is one great photo.

        1. The one looks like she was a little santorum on her dress, though…

      2. I’d do her if I was drunk, which I am.

      3. It is obvious that Santorum and daughters have Habsburgian ancestry.

  2. OT. Jesus, the talking heads are off their nut with the “OMG TEH DRUGZZ!” since Whitney “We Have A Problem” Houston RIPed.

    My [least] favorite was the jerks on Sirius Patriot this PM (don’t remember the show) going ON and ON about how “teh prescripshun drugzz are even worse than teh ILLEGAL rugzzZ!” and must be STOPPED! before they kill again. I just kept thinking, “What the fuck do you CARE? You statist fucks make the world so miserable that people decide to become comfortably numb or off themselves with drugs….and then you want to keep them from doing that.”


    Also, Ron Paul. Maine. We report, YOU decide…how deep the Kochspiracy is.

    Please return to your normal duties.

    1. That’s one thing that bothers me, though: all of the celebrity ODs I can recall recently involved prescription drugs. Why waste the effort banning the others when people can just off themselves with the legal shit? Well, aside from all the people that have a monetary interest in the illegal stuff.

    2. Almanian|2.13.12 @ 11:06PM|#
      “OT. Jesus, the talking heads are off their nut with the “OMG TEH DRUGZZ!” since Whitney “We Have A Problem” Houston RIPed.”

      Yes, but it’s all about how society *forced* her to die!
      “Whitney Houston: Her burden was also ours”
      “Whitney carried us through the Reagan years before entering into emotional and financial decline, the same decline that is also consuming black America.”…..1N70CJ.DTL
      Yep, blacks have been suffering every since Reagan did something or other.

      1. It was not society’s fault. It was Sevo and Almanian and all the rest of you racist libertarian bastards! Shame.

  3. “Waldo County, which held its caucus the week before, also had its votes not counted”

    Where is this located?

    1. It’s right to the… oh, I see what you did there.

    1. During the 2008 cycle, the Nevada GOP shut down its convention rather than allow the Paul people to win it.

      At the national convention, the GOP deliberately lied about the votes of delegates from at least one state just to deny Paul from receiving any tallied votes at all, and so they could say that McCain was the unanimous nominee.

      These facts are not in dispute.

      The GOP is extraordinarily petty (and foolish) when it comes to Paul. If they’re willing to violate the process over even symbolic and meaningless issues concerning Paul (by the time of the Nevada convention in 2008, the race was over; obviously at the national convention McCain was going to be the nominee and it didn’t matter if a couple of Oklahoma delegates voted for Paul) they’d certainly be willing to do so in the case of Maine in 2012.

      1. Petty, foolish…maybe. But at political conventions where someone is the obvious choice, it’s SOP to have the nomination be done by acclamation or otherwise give the appearance of unanimity. It’s the way political parties want to appear. Many would say that to do otherwise would be petty, i.e. who wants to hear from a sore loser?

        1. There’s really no way to compare someone showing up at a convention and voting for the candidate they were elected to support (as part of an election effort that represents millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer man-hours nationally) and a convention chair deliberately falsely reporting and recording the way a delegate voted for the sake of appearance.

          A delegate is under no obligation to change their vote to suit a Potemkin exercise. The convention personnel, OTOH, are obligated to conduct convention operations honestly. If they aren’t, the entire primary process is a fucking joke and we should start settling all nomination questions with violence in the streets instead.

  4. Brian Doherty: Who skipped the alt-text?

    1. Who has time for alt-text when you have some shitty book to hawk?

  5. Think Paul will put in a lot of effort to have Washington County turnout, knowing that it only needs 200 votes to win the state?

  6. I skip the alt-text. I always skip the alt-text. I’m pretty sure I’ve never done any. My apologies for letting you down.

    1. I’m also pretty sure you never have it. Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop my crusade (except maybe to complain about the commentless mobile site).

    2. I’m TomD, and I approve the lack of alt-text.

      It’s not like every post has to come with a snarky aside or a clever wink. Just let stuff be normal and straightforward once in a while, thanks.

      1. Just let stuff be normal and straightforward once in a while, thanks.

        I’m against this. True story.

        1. Rock on CN, rock on.

  7. Dad shows his blue files instead of blue Smurfs at a child’s birthday party –His laptop was Weinered

  8. Kate Upton

    that is all.

  9. Paul won Maine without Washington county.


  10. Those KY adverts make me feel funny in my pants.

  11. How to say hello in the Philippines:

    as loud as you can.

  12. This one has SHARE written all over it!!! The Ron Paul campaign came forward Saturday claiming the establishment is purposely hiding Maine’s overall caucus results and delegate totals from the American people to prevent any potential surge or momentum from taking place as a result of the success he had in the caucus. Continue reading on Examiner com…

  13. ?hundreds of thousands of millions?


    hundreds (100s) ? thousands (1000s) ? millions (1,000,000s) = (minimum of) 100,000,000,000.

    Since that exceeds the population of the earth my almost two orders of magnitude, I’m guessing his numbers are off just a bit.

    1. No YOUR numbers are off, ass-face. Now fucking deal with it!

    2. I’m guessing that was supposed to read hundreds or thousands or millions… maybe.

  14. Ron Paul will win, right up until the moment that he doesn’t. And then what he’ll have won is a chance to be a pain in the GOP ass, but the GOP will look at its ass in the mirror. And say to itself, why bother.

    And then the GOP will loose and we’ll get four more years of the The Big O-Boy. And all will be well and swell on earth. Much weller and sweller than if some non-Ron Paul GOP type person had won, at any rate.

    Religion has gripped the nation. For surely the Chinese will lend us money forever and ever amen.

    Most of it’s just business as usual but the only thing I really don’t understand is why there’s no serious movement afoot to go kill ObamaCare. Does anybody grok that? For I be clueless…..

  15. I live in Washington County, and GOP Chris Gardner is an idiot from personal experience. It seems he was a little afraid Mitt Romney might lose. Last year he had a fit cuz he said everyone’s vote needed to count, what happened to that? Honestly Washington County is huge in Ron Paul support.

  16. the nonbinding straw poll

    And only 35 comments?

  17. it is unlikely if Wash. cty voted on Saturday that RP would have picked up a net 200 votes.

    I’ve been a RP supporter for over a decade but it is becoming very difficult to associate with the “fraud!” crowd. They have not been able to show a single case of real, proven election fraud/tampering. Given how sensitive RP’s base is to this issue we should have concrete reports of how many voted in each caucus and what was actually reported. Yet that type of audit trail is never used.

    I find it far more disheartening to deal with these conspiracy therorists than the simple fact that RP is not quite as popular as we would like to believe and his voters are not quite as motivated as we have all hoped (in some cases unrealistically with college kids).

  18. Romney won Maine. The only thing really at stake in Maine was the headline, and Romney got that.

    The prospective delegate count is meaningless. The GOP will lie and cheat that away, be sure of it.

    1. Who is the GOP, if not the people elected by their grass roots using their process? You write as if there were some mysterious non-human “GOP” out there, when it’s really just the people they select for their leadership.

      Have you ever been involved with the takeover of a political party by another faction? I have, at the county level here in the Bronx in the Conservative Party. We came in 30 yrs. ago on the 2nd try against the resistance of the organiz’n that’d been in control before that for a few years. We followed the bylaws and the election law, and now we’re in and have been ever since. For over a decade now now we haven’t gotten along too well with the state party leadership, which has gotten in bed with the Republicans, but there’s nothing they can do about us.

      1. When the Paulites have taken over the leadership roles in the GOP, you will have a point.

  19. lol just another corrupt, pompous windbag.

  20. There is a lot more election fraud going on here besides canceling the caucus in Washington County. Precincts were instructed by Charlie webster, to hide the ballot counts (not do them publicly) and then, surprise, the state totals don’t match the tallies in the precinct.
    See Ben swan, Reality Check for some additional data. Charlie Webster, state party GOP chair and Romney supporter committed fraud on so many levels during this election.

  21. Maine Election Fraud
    There is a lot more election fraud going on in Maine besides the Washington County delay. There is also:
    1. The state GOP instructing precincts to not tally or publicize vote counts at each precinct, just forward the privately counted totals to state HQ. What? That’s a classic strategy to steal votes when people can’t verify their precincts!
    2. Precinct tallies were then combined with other precincts so that it becomes even more difficult to verify results.
    3. When individual precincts results could be verified, the state totals don’t match up with the precinct totals, by a substantial margin.
    4. Delegate votes – some precincts had more delegate ballots than they should have, so the precinct chair then claims the privilege of appointing all delegates themselves rather than re-voting. Who has the easiest access to stuffing the ballot box? The precinct chair! (Why not revote? We’re only talking about a few dozen people in each case. It wouldn’t be very prohibitive)
    5. The ‘errors’ so far, all seem to be going towards Romney’s favor (Charlie Webster, state GOP party chair, is a Romney supporter)
    6. The errors so far are enough for Ron Paul to win, regardless of what happens in Washington County.
    7. The state GOP is refusing to work out these problems or reconvene for 3 weeks, until after Super Tuesday
    If this straw vote is so inconsequential, then why has the media spent millions of dollars, 1000s of articles in 100s of different media outlets reporting on every facet of these beauty contest votes for months now? Meaningless? I don’t think so. Donations, momentum and support levels are determined by the results of each state. Widespread fraud also tells us a lot about the potential elect ability of the candidate that needs this kind of skulduggery in order to win.
    For more info on this issue, see also Ben Swan at Reality Check

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