During the Maine caucuses, presidential candidate Mitt Romney emerged as the victor with 39% of the vote. Ron Paul was in second with 36%. However, those results, although reflecting the will of the voters, are not binding, and the Paul organization has managed to take control of the delegates who will actually cast their ballot for the GOP nominee at the Republican National Convention.
With Mitt Romney's GOP presidential nomination all but decided, Ron Paul supporters took control of the Maine Republican Convention and elected a majority slate supporting the Texas congressman to the GOP national convention, party officials said. The results gave the Texas congressman a late state victory.
In votes leading to the close of the two-day Maine convention, Paul supporters were elected to 21 of the 24 delegate spots from Maine to the GOP national convention in Tampa, Fla. The 24th delegate's seat goes to party Chairman Charles Webster, who has remained uncommitted throughout the process.
Making the Paul takeover complete was the election of Paul supporters to a majority of the state committee seats.
And even crazier are the results in Nevada where Ron Paul supporters have done the exact same thing as Maine. As noted in the Washington Post, Romney overwhelmingly won the Nevada caucus with 50% of the vote. Ron Paul only garnered 19%.
However, the delegates that represent Nevada at the national convention are firmly in Paul's camp, capturing 22 of the 25 delegate positions.
"The Paul folks couldn't get their people turned out for the caucus," said veteran Nevada political columnist Jon Ralston. "But they outmaneuvered the Nevada Romney people ever since and dominated the county conventions and this is the inevitable result. The question remains: To what end?"
Nevada delegates are bound by the state's results on the first convention ballot, so Romney will still get their support. Paul's Nevada supporters are not challenging that rule, for fear of losing their convention seats altogether. Delegates who abstain will be replaced with alternates.
But some Paul supporters are hoping for a brokered convention, at which they could back Paul on subsequent ballots. Given Romney's massive delegate lead, that's highly unlikely. At the very least, they can vocally cheer for their preferred nominee and pressure the party to give Paul a bigger voice.
A brokered convention? Get real. Like it or not, Romney is the GOP winner. It's time to rally around him and cut out this senseless maneuvering. If Ron Paul had any class, he'd speak out against what is going on.