Ron Paul supporters took control of the Maine Republican Convention and elected a majority slate supporting him to the GOP national convention.
The results gave the Texas congressman a late state victory.
In votes leading to the close of the two-day Maine GOP convention, Paul supporters were elected to 21 of 24 delegate spots from the state to the Republican national convention in Tampa, Fla., giving him a demonstrative win in the state.
Paul, the last challenger to Mitt Romney to remain in the contest, finished a close second behind Romney in Maine’s GOP caucuses in February.
Those results were nonbinding, however, and not everyone had a chance to cast a ballot before the results were announced, as a snowstorm forced the cancellation of some caucuses, including one in a Paul stronghold.
Romney won the February election with 39 percent of the vote to Paul’s 36 percent. Rick Santorum‘s 18 percent and Newt Gingrich’s 6 percent.
Nevertheless, the caucuses merely selected the delegates to the state’s party convention, and at that event, 21 of 24 voted to nominate Paul.
“I think he’s being very careful because he knows how important the Ron Paul voters are – they obviously represent a very different dynamic,” said Mike Dennehy, a former top aide to Republican John McCain’s 2008 campaign.
“They are the most passionate and the most frustrated of any voters heading to the polls. And many of them are actually independents.”
In any case, the weekend’s turn of events would indicate the GOP has not yet united behind the man many call the presumptive nominee, and there are indications the infighting may last through the national convention this summer.
If nothing else, it’s a testament to the staying power of the movement started by Paul and his supporters, who are peerless in their devotion.
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Ron Paul Wins Maine Caucuses at Party Convention