Another update to the long-running reality show that is the GOP nomination process, again regarding a caucus state with non-binding votes. The NYT gave 11 to Romney, and 10 to Paul. However, Ron Paul thinks he might have won:
Ron Paul’s campaign is claiming that it could still win the presidential preference poll in the Maine caucus because of a county that postponed its vote and will hold its caucus next Saturday, Feb. 18.
On Saturday, the Maine Republican Party declared Mitt Romney the winner of the presidential preference vote, which he led by 194 ballots based on the caucuses that have been held so far.
State Republicans said they considered the results of the straw poll final. However, Washington County, in the easternmost part of the state, postponed its caucus after a snowstorm was forecast there. The Washington County G.O.P. Chair, Chris Gardner, said his county would conduct the straw poll at its caucuses and will report the results to the state.
All if this will be moot unless Mr. Paul is able to make up 194 votes in the county.
The results of the presidential preference poll are nonbinding and serve mostly for vanity — delegates are selected through a separate vote at the caucus sites. Although this is also true in most other Republican caucus states, Maine’s delegate selection process is especially cumbersome and can potentially reward candidates whose supporters are more enthusiastic and who sit through the entire process, which can be hours long.
Mr. Paul’s campaign has predicted that it will win the most delegates from Maine regardless of the result of the straw poll.
(click here to continue reading Could Ron Paul Still Win Maine? – NYTimes.com.)
And about those caucus delegates…Rachel Maddow interviewed Ron Paul strategist Doug Wead, and their conversation went something like this, transcribed by Crooks and Liars:
WEAD: I watch television and I see them saying Romney has this many delegates and Santorum this many, and as you know, not a single delegate has been awarded from Iowa or Minnesota or Missouri or Colorado or Nevada, and as you point out, we’re tracking this at the precinct level, we think we have the majority of them, we think we’ve won in Iowa, we won in Minnesota, we won in Colorado, and Missouri is yet to be seen. And we think we probably won in Nevada, because we’re counting the precinct votes. The only thing that I might add there is nothing wrong or deceptive about this, anybody can stay. Woody Allen says 80% of success is showing up. Our people show up, and they have a right to do that, and they are committed, and so they are running as delegates at the precinct level to the county convention where they will again run as delegates from the county convention to the state convention.
MADDOW: Are they being open at the precinct level, are they being open about the fact they will support Ron Paul no matter what happened at the caucus or is this sort of a sneak attack strategy?
WEAD: No, they are open. Anybody can stay, and anybody can vote, in fact, the party is resisting this as often as they can. There have been occasions where they dismissed the meeting and relocated in another place to try to keep our people from participating. There are verbal memos that come down from the campaign. In Minnesota there was a verbal memo. They don’t care to put it in print in which they told all the establishment Republicans don’t vote for any delegate under the age of 40, because they knew it would be a Ron Paul supporter. So we’re winning fair and square. and I should point out all these rules were changed for Mitt Romney. They were changed so that the establishment Republicans could give Mitt Romney a chance to win this nomination, in spite of evangelical resistance in the South. So it’s all been set up for Romney, we’re the poor guys, we don’t have Goldman Sachs money, we’re playing by their rules and yes, we have a smile on our face because right now the big story missed until you just broke it tonight is probably we have more delegates than anybody in the race right now. when all this is finalized.
Here are the goals, primary and secondary:
MADDOW: I’m assuming that your overall goal is to make Ron Paul the nominee for president. I realize that is what you are — you are in it for. Say you don’t achieve that but you have amassed a large number of delegates, what would be the purpose of amassing all those delegates, what would you use it for?
WEAD: As you know, anybody who is an observer of modern political history knows a brokered convention is remote. There are delegates that will move to another candidate if they get a box of Godiva chocolates on their pillow at the hotel in Tampa that night. Ron Paul delegates won’t go even if they are offered Secretary of State. So if we can get do a convention with a sizeable number of delegates and if Gingrich stays alive and Santorum stays alive, we could have a brokered convention. It would be a huge show, even though there is a remote possibility. And of course there are many things we want. We would like to see the federal reserve audited for example and Romney is the only candidate left in the Republican party who hasn’t taken that step. And with good reason, his honey is coming from Goldman Sachs.
Oh, and Mitt Romney seems to have picked up another Super Delegate (Romney now has 18)