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Romneybot v.2012 executes directive "kiss baby" (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Mitt Romney hoped to reverse his string of embarrassing victories and bad news cycles by scoring some much needed wins this weekend, and he did. Kind of.

CPAC

After losing to Ron Paul a year ago, Mitt Romney won the majority of votes at the premier conservative gathering of the year, the Conservative Political Action Committee conference.

Mitt Romney 38
Rick Santorum 31
Newt Gingrich 15
Ron Paul 12

Aside from the fact that the Not-Mitt-Romney vote continues to dominate, fact is, Romney can't win anything without throwing wads of money at it.
The Romney campaign also worked aggressively behind the scenes for a strong showing, including busing students from colleges along the Eastern Seaboard to show their support.
Also:
A Republican source confirms to me that Romney's camp bought registrations at CPAC to ensure their victory at the straw poll.
For a candidate who's trying to shake the narrative that he's an out-of-touch rich fuck (to put it bluntly), buying up victories isn't exactly the way to do so.

MAINE

Romney narrowly won the sparsely attended Maine caucuses taking place through the week, and ending Saturday.

Mitt Romney 2,190
Ron Paul 1,996
Rick Santorum 989
Newt Gingrich 349

Those 2,190 votes garnered Romney 39 percent of the vote. In 2008, Romney won 52 percent of the Maine vote with 2,837 votes. So already, it's clear this "victory" is pyrrhic at best. The supposed frontrunner continues to move backwards. (Not to mention that just 5,600 of Maine's 258,000 registered Republicans turned out.)

But that's not all. It turns out that several areas in Maine postponed their vote because of a threatened snow storm. The storm, of course, failed to materialize, and the Paulist conspiracy theorists are out in full force—the state party chief conveniently declared the caucus results final, despite the incomplete results. Nate Silver analysed whether Paul could actually end up winning Maine, and the answer is "maybe, if they work hard at it."

So there you have it: Romney bought himself one victory, and the other appears premature, if not outright stolen—all par for the course for the year's worst campaign (and that includes Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich).

Originally posted to kos on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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