Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has won the Presidential Preference Poll in the state of Maine for the week-long caucus. Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has persistently campaigned in the state, won second place.
After one week of caucuses, the Maine Republican Party announced the results. Former Governor Mitt Romney won with 39 percent, which was followed by Paul with 36 percent. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum garnered third with 18 percent. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was last with only six percent.
There are non-bound 24 delegates at stake, which will be allocated proportionally. Paul’s primary focus in this campaign has been about accumulating delegates ahead of the Republican National Convention in August.
Many media outlets have reported over the past week that the three-time presidential candidate could most likely win the state of Maine. Last month, it was reported that Paul met privately with Maine Governor Paul LePage and also received the blessing of L.L. Bean heiress, Linda Bean.
Gingrich or Santorum did not have any paid staff in Maine and neither of the presidential candidates even campaigned in the state. Meanwhile, Romney did not visit the state until Friday night, where he held a town hall and met with supporters at various caucus sites.
Throughout Saturday, Paul visited three caucus sites. Following the state Republican Party’s results announcement at 6:20 p.m., Paul will deliver a speech in Portland at the Seasons Event and Conference Center Ballroom for the Maine Caucus Night Party.
Saturday’s caucus comes a few hours after Romney won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll with 38 percent of the vote. Santorum came in second with 31 percent and Gingrich was a distant third with 15 percent. Paul was invited, but focused his attention on the campaign. He received 12 percent.
Please note that this is a breaking news story. Check back throughout the night for frequent updates.
Below are the specific numbers of the remaining four candidates in Maine (95 percent reporting):
Newt Gingrich: six percent | 349 votes
Ron Paul: 36 percent | 1,996 votes
Mitt Romney: 39 percent | 2,190 votes
Rick Santorum: 18 percent | 989 votes
Note that only 84 percent of the precincts are reporting. Some caucuses in Maine are being held until Mar. 3 – the last one will be in Hancock.
The Ron Paul campaign issued a press release in which they explained that Paul is “winning the battle of the delegates.” For more information on the delegate process and what exactly is transpiring, view this video of Doug Wead, a senior advisor to the Paul campaign.
The next scheduled GOP contest will take place on Feb. 28 where the states of Arizona and Michigan hold primaries. Prior to that, CNN will host a presidential debate on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. EST at the Mesa Arts Center in Arizona.