Texas Congressman Ron Paul won strong victories in rural Maine caucuses February 18, but the Saturday caucuses do not quite appear to have lifted Paul to victory statewide over his chief rival, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. But there are new questions about some of the vote tallies in the updated Maine GOP count, especially where the results for the Portland caucus were reversed in favor of Romney.
The official tally for Washington County — a rural Maine county that had postponed its scheduled February 11 caucuses because of snow — showed 163 votes for Paul, 80 for Romney, 57 for Santorum, and three for Gingrich. Neither Gingrich nor Santorum had an official campaign presence at the caucuses in Maine.
The two-to-one Paul victory over Romney in Washington County alone won’t put Paul over the top statewide, however. According to the Paul campaign, the Texas congressman and obstetrician also picked up 39 votes in caucuses in neighboring Hancock County and a handful of other area caucuses February 18. A number of other towns were caucusing February 18 as well, but by the Paul campaign’s count at 5:00 p.m. they were still 84 votes short after counting Hancock and Washington Counties. The Bangor Daily News put Romney’s margin of victory at 117 votes.