The end MAY(?) be near for 'Webster's Follies'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2012, 6:16pm PT  

It was "standing room only" in the combined supercaucus in Washington County, Maine today, according to the Bangor Daily News. The paper reports "Ron Paul scores big wins in Hancock and Washington counties," the two counties which had yet to hold all of their caucuses before Maine's hapless, attempted vote suppressor and state GOP Chair Charlie Webster prematurely announced Mitt Romney the "winner" of the state caucuses by just 194 votes one week ago tonight.

But, according to both the paper's tallies and the state party's, Paul's pickups today were not enough to top Romney, as one more town has yet to caucus (Castine is currently scheduled for March 3), and as revised results, posted by the state GOP late last night, continue to be scrutinized...

From Bangor Daily News' coverage this evening...

EAST MACHIAS, Maine — Texas Congressman Ron Paul was the top choice by a two-to-one margin in four presidential preference polls conducted by Republicans in Maine on Saturday as the state winds up its controversial GOP caucuses.

In Washington County’s supercaucus, Paul attracted 163 votes to Mitt Romney’s 80, and in the town of Hancock, in the county of the same name, Paul received 41 votes to Romney’s 16. Paul also picked up four more votes to Romney’s two in Clinton, which also caucused Saturday morning, and 19 votes to Romney’s seven in Eastbrook.

The numbers weren’t enough to overcome Paul’s 239-vote deficit statewide, but the poll is nonbinding, meaning the state’s 24 GOP delegates won’t necessarily be apportioned based on the results. However, the decisive wins might cool the momentum Romney claimed after he was declared the winner in Maine a week ago.

Paul’s Saturday wins put him 117 votes behind Romney statewide, according to an unofficial tabulation by the Bangor Daily News.
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The town of Castine will caucus March 3.

The caucus in East Machias included all Washington County Communities. Saturday morning’s caucuses in Hancock represented the communities of Fletcher’s Landing, Gouldsboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham and Winter Harbor and Saturday afternoon’s caucuses in Eastbrook included Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Franklin, Mariaville and Osborn.

Paul's gain of 122 votes on Romney, as reported above, leaves him still 117 votes shy of a statewide win, according to both BDN's current tally and the GOP's revised numbers [PDF] as posted on their website late last night.

Barring any new inaccuracies discovered (not completely out of the question), it seems unlikely that the March 3 caucus in Castine will turn out enough voters to overcome the reported margin. On the other hand, if Paul supporters want to win bad enough, they'll know by March 3 exactly how many votes they'll need to pick up in the one remaining town.

In the meantime, Paul supporters and Election Integrity advocates are busy combing over the GOP's updated results and today's numbers and --- presuming all caucuses in question were publicly tallied with the results reported to those in attendance before they were called or emailed in to the state GOP last week and today --- if any remaining inaccuracies or unreported totals remain in the GOP's "official" tallies, they should be easily spotted by those who were in attendance and, hopefully, quickly corrected.

Lack of computer tallies --- thanks to hand-marked paper ballots immediately and publicly counted at the precinct --- makes such errors (or any purposeful manipulation) much easier to spot and correct. That, for example, is how we learned that Mitt Romney didn't actually win Iowa, after a Ron Paul supporter stepped forward with accurate numbers he'd overseen at a caucus where totals had been misreported by the state GOP after the GOP chair there similarly announced Romney as the "winner" prematurely. In that case, Rick Santorum was eventually found to have been the winner, though it was week's after the corporate media had turned their attention elsewhere.

Questions about which results will be considered as "final" in Maine will be finally answered when the GOP state committee meets on March 10 (four days after Super Tuesday) when they will vote on whether results from caucuses held after February 11 will be included in the state's final numbers.

At the same meeting the state committee will also decide whether to censure state GOP chair Charlie Webster, as recommended by a vote of the Waldo County GOP this week in the wake of the embarrassing handling of the entire Republican Caucus this year which --- if history holds any justice --- will eventually be remembered as "Webster's Follies".

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Relatedly, one amusing point worth mentioning here --- especially given that Rick Santorum is now, incredibly enough, seen as the GOP front-runner for the nomination, according to most national polls --- there was this graf from the BDN's coverage today [emphasis added]:

Saturday’s caucuses in Hancock opened at 10 a.m. with prayer and the pledge of allegiance and featured speakers in support of Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. When the microphone was offered to a supporter of Rick Santorum, no one came forward.

This is going to be a difficult year for Republicans. And, though we don't really do "predictions" around here, we'll reiterate the one that we've been tweeting for months now. Namely, there remains a better than 50% chance that there will need to be a brokered convention when the Republican National Convention convenes in Tampa later this year, and it's equally possible that none of the current field of contenders will ultimately be the GOP's 2012 nominee for President. We see no reason to back off on that assessment at this time.

With that out of the way, here is all of our previous detailed coverage of the disastrous 2012 Maine GOP Caucuses:

2/15/12: Maine GOP Commits Massive Election Fraud in State Caucuses; Paul Supporters Justifiably Outraged
Republican election fraud epidemic continues...

2/16/12: More on The Maine Republican Party's Stolen 2012 GOP Caucuses - And How It Appears They Did It...

2/17/12: Maine GOP Posts New Results Tonight, Shows Romney's 'Win' Over Paul Slightly Increased
State GOP Chair Charlie Webster slimes Paul supporters; Party finally relents and releases updated numbers...

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