Is the system being gamed to by-pass the voters?
After his three disastrous defeats on Tuesday Mitt Romney ended up on top, by just 194 votes, in the Maine caucuses overnight just ahead of Ron Paul.
The state neighbours Massachusetts so Mitt was expected to do well but it was always clear that Ron Paul was a serious threat.
The total number of voters in the entire state was just 5,594 and the split was Mitt 39%, Paul 36%, Santorum 18% with Gingrich on just 6%. The final two had hardly done a thing there throughout the campaign and the Santorum camp must have been delighted at their lead over Newt.
A bigger question in terms of the overall race, and not just Maine, is the way the Ron Paul campaign is gaming the system to soak up the lion’s share of the delegates in caucuses irrespective of the fact that their man has not won a single state.
If you thought like I did that delegates from each were split in accordance with votes cast for the contenders then you are wrong. There are two sets of votes at caucus meetings – one to choose between the candidates and the other to choose the delegates.
The Ron Paul campaign is putting all its efforts into the latter and claims that it is building up a powerful position.
Just check out the above report by MSNBC which is the first serious examination of what they are doing. If the Ron Paul campaign’s claims are correct then it throws into question all the delegate projections that we’ve seen.
I assume that Paul wants to be the king-maker in Tampa and his campaign is skilfully working the process to achieve that end.
Isn’t democracy a wonderful thing.
Mike Smithson @MikeSmithsonOGH