Mitt Romney Wins in Maine, But Ron Paul Thinks He’ll Still Take the Delegates

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) holds a campaign town hall meeting at the Church Landing at Mill Falls January 8, 2012 in Meredith, New Hampshire.
Ron Paul’s a crafty one. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite skipping out on the CPAC conference (which wrapped up yesterday) and campaigning hard in Maine, Ron Paul still lost to Mitt Romney, who last night was declared the winner of that state’s unusually drawn-out caucuses. Speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation this morning, Paul said, perhaps for the first time, that he was “a little disappointed.” However, minutes after the official results were released yesterday, showing Romney winning by just a 194 vote margin, reporters checking their in=box were greeted by a message titled “Ron Paul Victory in Maine!” But this was not some pre-drafted e-mail accidentally sent out by a bleary-eyed aide. After pointing out that the Texas congressman had just barely been “nudged out” from first place because pro-Paul Washington County had chosen not to vote, the e-mail laid out the campaign’s real strategy: “We are confident we will control the Maine delegation for the convention in August.”

This is because Maine, like many other states that have voted so far (e.g., Missouri, Iowa), doesn’t actually pledge delegates right away. Plus, not all convention delegates are even bound to a specific candidate, which means at some point the candidates will stop caring about the voters and start promising the world and the stars to uncommitted delegates. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves — there’s still plenty more fun primaries to go before the delegate horse race kicks off.

Mitt Romney Wins in Maine, Ron Paul Still Upbeat