On Jan. 11, the day after New Hampshire's First-in-the-Nation Primary, hundreds of Ron Paul supporters scoured Granite State roadways for campaign signs, which they collected and distributed to Vermont, South Carolina, Massachusetts and Maine.
Because the Maine Caucuses followed the New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada primaries, many local Paul supporters have made Vacationland their new stomping grounds, at least until the caucuses, which began this past Saturday and end on Feb. 11.
So while the four remaining GOP contenders battle for votes in the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and Missouri Primary today, Paul's New Hampshire people know that tomorrow Maine will become the center of political world and the four-day home for much of the national media.
And unlike Florida, where Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney won handily, Maine is not a winner-take-all state, meaning 24 delegates are up for grabs (double what New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary provided less than a month ago).
That, specifically, is why Kathy Peterson of Nashua jumped on an old white school bus with 21 other young Ron Paul supporters and made the two-hour trek to Paul's Maine campaign headquarters in Falmouth (just north of Portland) to stump for their candidate.
"We had two full bus lengths of Ron Paul material banners covering over all the side windows of the bus," said Peterson. "The (Maine) staff was very grateful for our experienced, passionate and energetic New Hampshire helpers as there is less paid help in a state twice as large, not to mention having (to contend with) other primaries going on at the same time in other state."
Peterson said half of her group worked a phone bank, while the other half took the bus to a couple Paul appearances – including an overflow crowd at the Alfred Town Hall – where they waved signs and handed out literature. They also played Ron Paul-specific music on their own personal PA system and displayed a green laser show on the wall of a church next to the town hall.
"I'm not sure the town folks knew what to think of us, but we hope they caught our love for the good doctor," said Peterson, who noted many other New Hampshire supporters traveled to Maine this week with a similar strategy in mind.
"The most important thing is that, despite the lack of positive national media press, our message of liberty and peace is growing," she added.
The Paul campaign continues to work aggressively through social media, creating several Facebook pages (see three here, here and here) to recruit local supporters for Maine. A website has even been created looking ahead, with a focus on Vermont, for Super Tuesday, March 6.
Yet while Paul's people are showing up to Maine in collective force, Romney's campaign is sending some of its big-name New Hampshire supporters to stump for the former Massachusetts governor in the Pine Tree State.
Nashua's Jennifer Horn, who ran for U.S. Congress in 2008, traveled to Maine last weekend to speak in support of Romney at an event in Scarborough, Maine and will return this Saturday for a speech in Falmouth.
Likewise, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu spoke at a caucus in in Bangor on Feb. 4 and U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, will speak at a caucus in Lewiston on Feb. 11.
Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Barack Obama will likely have the support of Granite Staters in Maine as well, though we were unable to pin them down on who might be campaigning for them there.