Maine Republicans are caucusing Saturday to determine their preference for the 2012 GOP nominee. It appears that only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are actively campaigning in Maine while Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are spending time in the upcoming primary states of Arizona and Michigan.
Maine caucus results should be available by 8pm ET Saturday evening.
Report from the Washington Post:
SANFORD, Maine — Mitt Romney hoped to avoid a fourth straight election setback Saturday in the GOP presidential nomination race, but feisty Ron Paul could extend that losing streak with a victory in Maine’s caucuses.
Romney, the one-time front-runner, stepped up efforts to court Republicans in recent days, reflecting growing concern about the outcome of what has become a two-man race in Maine.
Neither Newt Gingrich nor Rick Santorum, who won in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado on Tuesday, is actively competing in Maine, where party officials planned to declare a winner Saturday evening.
Paul was optimistic as he greeted morning caucus-goers in Sanford, where a few hundred Republicans gathered in a nearly-filled high school gymnasium.
“I think we have a very good chance,” Paul said. Romney will “be better off if he wins it and I’m going to be a lot better off if I win. So this will give me momentum and it will just maintain his. It’s a pretty important state as far as I’m concerned.”
Romney wants Maine voters to help in his struggle to convince his party’s conservative wing that he should be the candidate they back. The former Massachusetts governor said in a Washington speech Friday that he was “a severely conservative Republican governor.”
Maine is in Mitt Romney’s backyard and will be a tough competition for any candidate. Ron Paul might take 2nd place but I don’t see him knocking off Romney in this particular contest.