Romney Edges Ron Paul in Maine Caucus

Ron Paul takes a close second, Santorum third
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2012 6:08 PM CST

(Newser) – Mitt's having the quite the day: After winning the CPAC straw poll, Romney won Maine's so-called "lazy caucus" today with 39% of the vote, NBC Politics reports. His 2,190 total votes gave him a narrow victory over Ron Paul, who took second with 1,996 votes and 36%. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich pulled up the rear with 18% and 6% of caucus voters, respectively.

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A couple of caveats: Santorum didn't campaign in Maine, and the state's 24 delegates are free to vote for any candidate at the GOP convention. Paul's second-place showing stands out, because the Texas libertarian had a shot to win in this quirky "purple" state that boasts a mix of Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill and voter registration rules that allow independent voters to take part. Maine's caucus is "lazy" because municipalities were permitted to host caucus events anytime over the past week. (Read more Mitt Romney 2012 stories.)

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