Ahead of Saturday caucus, Maine GOP releases updated vote count

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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After initially refusing to release the updated vote count from the Maine caucuses, the state party’s chairman, Charlie Webster, has decided to do so.

The updated results released Friday afternoon include votes initially omitted from Waldo County, as well as from several localities outside of that county.

Results released last Saturday placed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with a narrow 194-vote lead over Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with 5,585 votes tallied statewide.

The updated results, provided to The Daily Caller, show Romney with a 239-vote lead over Paul, with 2,269 votes to Paul’s 2,030.

With 5,814 votes now tallied statewide, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is at 1,052 votes and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 391.

The initial results had Romney at 2,190 votes, Paul at 1,996, Santorum at 989 and Gingrich at 349.

Webster told TheDC on Wednesday “there will be no access” to the updated results, saying, “People can whine and complain and plead, but I’m not going to make them public.”

The Friday results come after the state GOP asked local parties to re-submit results to ensure accuracy. Initially, errors occurred in tabulating the votes. In addition to omissions, the results for Paul and Romney we inadvertently switched in Portland, according to the state party.

Washington County in the far eastern part of the state will hold its presidential caucus on Saturday. It was initially scheduled for last weekend, but was delayed due to a forecast of snow.

The state party’s 83-or-so-member committee will decide on March 10 whether the results from Washington County will be included in the ultimate tally. The county’s GOP chairman delayed the caucus believing that the votes would be counted.

Paul supporters are expected to attempt a massive turnout campaign Saturday, in an effort to overcome Romney’s slim lead in the state.

Webster is skeptical of Paul supporters’ lingering enthusiasm, and has said that it “isn’t humanly possible” for the Washington County votes to put Paul ahead of Romney, who was declared the winner in the state.

In the 2008 Republican primary, only 113 voters cast ballots in Washington County. An analysis by Nate Silver of The New York Times, however, reveals that more than 15,000 residents are able to participate.

If Saturday’s turnout is on par with participation in this year’s Iowa caucuses, Silver notes, the Washington County caucus could yield 1,300 votes — putting the ultimate outcome in Maine up for grabs.

A full breakdown of the updated results can be downloaded here.

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