PORTLAND, Maine –Mitt Romney capped a triumphant day of winning the CPAC straw poll vote with victory in the Maine caucuses Saturday.
“I thank the voters of Maine for their support. I’m committed to turning around America. And I’m heartened to have the support of so many good people in this great state,” Romney said in a statement.
“The voters of Maine have sent a clear message that it is past time to send an outsider to the White House, a conservative with a lifetime of experience in the private sector, who can uproot Washington’s culture of taxing and spending and borrowing and endless bureaucracy.”
Neither Romney nor his son Tagg, who was representing his father in several caucus sites in the state, remained in Maine for the caucus results to be announced.
The Romney campaign purchased a blitz of radio airtime in the waning days of the campaign and made a last-minute announcement of visits to Maine caucus sites.
“I hope we can [win]. Ron Paul has a lot of supporters as well. We’re here focused on the delegates — hopefully we can win a lot of them,” said Tagg Romney, who represented his father at several caucus sites today.
The late efforts may have made the difference between a victory and a loss.
In 2008, Mitt Romney had won a majority with 51.9 percent support. Ron Paul finished in third, behind John McCain, at 18.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the mood was grim at a Ron Paul election night party here when it was announced that the former Massachusetts governor had won the state’s non-binding caucuses.
The crowd booed, then went eerily silent, when the results were revealed.
“Liar!” shouted one supporter when state chairman Charlie Webster announced the results. “How many dead voted?” cried another.
Even as Webster continued to speak, the crowd resumed talking among themselves and ignored the remainder of the announcement.
A seemingly energized Paul tried to put a positive spin on his support in the Pine Tree State, which was nearly double the percentage he had secured in 2008.
“The revolution is just beginning,” he said, to a crowd that immediately perked up when he strolled in just minutes after the results were announced. “We lost by almost 200 votes … it’s almost like we could call it a tie.”