America is about to watch a Republican Primary Caucus vote count change and produce a new winner... again. Not only was one entire Maine county left out because of a snowstorm, many vote counts were lost when they 'went to spam,' according to officials.
During last week's caucus in Maine, Washington County's Republican Primary caucuses were postponed because of a snowstorm. Republican officials said their votes would not be counted when they held later caucuses. And that's where the matter seemed to stop, until... Maine Republican Party headquarters was inundated with calls and e-mails of complaint. Much of another county (Waldo) and a community were left out because of clerical mistakes and 'computer error' (the computers at local headquarters had poorly defined spam filters, and no one thought to look until after the vote was announced).
What made this particular wheel of cheese especially binding was that the difference between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney was less than 200 votes... statewide. Frustrated party members readily let Chairman Charlie Webster know they wanted all votes counted. At a hastily convened executive committee, the members recommended to the full State committee, which doesn't meet until March 10 that Washington County's votes should be added to the official count.
For the immediate future, the 'lost' numbers are being included in vote totals. All local committees have been instructed to send final counts to state headquarters. Once all the numbers are in, a "final" tally for the Great, Non-binding Maine Republican Primary Caucus will be posted on the Party Headquarters' website later today (Friday, February 17)... final that is, except for Washington County's numbers, which will dangle just out of reach until Saturday, March 10, long after anyone will care.
Ron Paul was expected to win in Maine, and Mitt Romney's overtake was a bit of a surprise. It may also not have happened. If Rep. Paul is now declared the 'winner' it will not help Mitt Romney in his surprisingly difficult fight in Michigan, and what's shaping up to be just as tough in Ohio. And it will give Ron Paul his first win of the campaign, without doubt a major boost to his supporters. Rep. Paul said earlier that it didn't matter. The caucus results are non-binding, and he expects to get his rightful share of delegates from Maine, whatever the outcome. But there is that psychological outcome...
If Mitt loses his Maine Republican Primary Caucus win, it will be the second time in this campaign that has happened to him. He was the loser in the Iowa recount, and this will mean that there have been two recounts, and he will have lost them both. Then again, come March 10, he could get it all back, if Washington County goes his way.
No wonder the Republican Party is contesting with Congress for least liked political body in America. Isn't anyone paying attention here?