Romney Paul Maine

February 11, 2012 by staff 

Romney Paul Maine, Mitt Romney hoped to avoid a fourth straight election setback Saturday in the GOP presidential nomination race, but feisty Ron Paul could extend that losing streak with a victory in Maine’s caucuses.
Ron Paul speaks in a crowded gymnasium Saturday at Geiger Elementary School in Lewiston, Maine.

Romney, the one-time front-runner, stepped up efforts to court Republicans in recent days, reflecting growing concern about the outcome of what has become a two-man race in Maine.

Neither Newt Gingrich nor Rick Santorum, who won in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado on Tuesday, is actively competing in Maine, where party officials planned to declare a winner Saturday evening.

Paul was optimistic as he greeted morning caucus-goers in Sanford, where a few hundred Republicans gathered in a nearly-filled high school gymnasium.

“I think we have a very good chance,” Paul said. Romney will “be better off if he wins it and I’m going to be a lot better off if I win. So this will give me momentum and it will just maintain his. It’s a pretty important state as far as I’m concerned.”

Romney wants Maine voters to help in his struggle to convince his party’s conservative wing that he should be the candidate they back. The former Massachusetts governor said in a Washington speech Friday that he was “a severely conservative Republican governor.”

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