WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney capped off his victory in the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll today with a win in the Maine Republican Caucus. Ron Paul came in second.
Mr. Romney was selected by 2,190 voters for 39 percent of the vote. Mr. Paul received 36 percent of the vote. Rick Santorum came in third with 18 percent and Newt Gingrich got just 6 percent.
Though Mr. Romney’s win helps stop the momentum Mr. Santorum built after three straight victories last week, Mr. Paul was probably Maine’s biggest loser. Mr. Paul focused a great deal of effort on Maine and was hoping to make it his first victory of the primary season. Despite his loss in Maine, Mr. Paul still hopes to earn a large number of delegates from Maine and other caucuses states by dominating the caucuses and conventions where the delegates are actually awarded.
Despite today’s vote, Maine’s delegates won’t actually be awarded until the state GOP convention in May and delegates will be free to choose whichever candidate they prefer. Last week, the Associated Press calculated the primary delegate count so far and found Mr. Romney in the lead with 112 delegates followed by Mr. Santorum with 72, Mr. Gingrich with 32 and Mr. Paul with nine.