Mitt Romney Wins Maine Caucuses
Ron Paul also received strong support.
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UPDATE, 6:20 p.m.
Though some had speculated that low turnout could lead to a Ron Paul win in Maine, multiple media outlets are now reporting that Mitt Romney has won the Maine caucuses.
The New York Times reports that Romney won 39 percent of the vote, barely edging out Paul, the only other Republican candidate to actively campaign in the state. Paul received 36 percent of the vote, followed by Rick Santorum at 18 percent and Newt Gingrich at 6 percent.
Romney's win stopped his losing streak after Rick Santorum edged him out in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri last week.
UPDATE, 11 a.m.
That does it for the campaign portion of the caucus. Voters are now breaking out into individual groups based on what town they're from. Statewide caucus results are expected sometime after 7:30 p.m. tonight.
UPDATE, 10:30 a.m.
Ralph Ginorio, a history teacher from Limington, Maine, was a surrogate for Rick Santorum and spoke to the crowd in favor of him.
At one point, Ginorio talked about how Santorum is the one candidate who says what he means and means what he says.
"That's Ron Paul!" someone in the crowd yelled.
In response, Ginorio said, "Ron Paul's isolationist policy invites a second Holocaust."
That drew several boos from the crowd.
Before that exchange, Ginorio slammed Michelle Obama for her efforts to encourage healthier eating.
"I'm a pear-shaped fat man," he said. "I don't want Michelle Obama telling me what to eat in my own home."
UPDATE, 10:15 a.m.
The crowd gave a lukewarm reaction to New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O'Brien, who spoke in favor of Newt Gingrich.
O'Brien argued Gingrich is the only "true" conservative in the race.
"He is an articulate proponent of our ideals," O'Brien said. "He has new solutions for American that reach back to the traditions of our country."
UPDATE, 9:45 a.m.
Mitt Romney earned a standing ovation after a short speech to the roughly 1,000 voters in attendance.
Romney focused on how he can challenge Obama, arguing he will stave off cuts to the military and support veterans.
Ron Paul supporters in the crowd broke out in several "Ron Paul!" chants during the speech that were counter with "Mitt!" chants by Romney supporters. One voice in the crowd railed against how money drives Romney's campaign.
New Hampshire Sen. Jim Forsythe, R-Strafford, spoke for Paul, who made a quick appearance here before taking off for other caucus locations.
The crowd's reaction to Forsythe's speech was slightly more energetic than for Romney.
PREVIOUS STORY, 9 a.m.
SANFORD, Maine – A well-organized group of Ron Paul supporters – including a border-jumping New Hampshire contingent – flooded Sanford High School this morning for today's Maine Caucus.
"Ron Paul! Ron Paul!" supporters chanted as Paul arrived here just past 8 a.m.
Scores of his campaign workers and volunteers had started work before 6 a.m., setting up signs outside the high school grounds.
"We're delighted with the reception," Paul said. "People have been saying, 'When are you going to win a state?' We hope it's today."
Indeed, if Paul is to win his first state this primary and caucus season, he appears to have as good a chance as any in Maine. Next door in New Hampshire, he finished second to Mitt Romney in the primary.
Maine is in Romney's backyard, as he governed Massachusetts nearby and has a vacation home in New Hampshire. Romney is looking to break his three-state losing streak today.
Romney, who won the Maine Caucus in 2008, was scheduled to appear here later today.
This morning, however, it was all Paul.
"His people are the most organized here," said caucus worker Helen Naylor.
Rita Bachand, 76, of Sanford, was here attending her first-ever caucus after nearly 20 years of living in Maine. She said Paul was the reason she decided to come out.
"I'm at an age where I hate wars," said Bachand, who identifies with Paul's anti-war stance, as well as his take on the economy.
Her friend, Pat Langlais, 80, of Springvale, was also attending her first caucus.
She said she was a longtime Democrat but switched allegiances to Rick Santorum.
"Obama has done a terrible job," Langlais said.
Santorum and Newt Gingrich had weaker presences here, as their campaign signs were drowned out by those for Paul and Romney.
New Hampshire House Speak Bill O'Brien was in attendance to support Gingrich, however.