The PJ Tatler

Romney Takes Maine

No delegates were at stake, but after a week that has seen Rick Santorum score a hat trick and then take the lead in the left-leaning PPP national GOP primary poll, any win anywhere is surely welcome news in Camp Mitt.

Mitt Romney completed a double-barreled comeback Saturday night with a victory in Maine. He won 39 percent of the votes cast in preference polls at caucuses throughout the state. Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in second with 36 percent.

Earlier Saturday, Romney pulled off a surprise win at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington. The former Massachusetts governor topped the CPAC field with 38 percent of the vote at the gathering of conservative activists.

The pair of victories did not bring Romney any of the national convention delegates needed to win the GOP nomination — the CPAC straw poll was purely a beauty contest, and Maine’s delegates will be chosen in May at a state convention.

Ron Paul finished second in Maine. The finally tally is Romney 39%, Paul 36%, Santorum 18% and Gingrich bringing up the rear at 6%. Charleston already seems like it was years ago. Paul finished so strong in Maine largely because he had skipped the last several contests to focus almost entirely on Maine. Second place after such an effort really shouldn’t be good enough to stay in the race, but he has already announced his retirement from the House. So…what else is he gonna do? At this point he’s angling for a prime time speech at the convention anyway.