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Maine results screen capture
Mitt won! Except maybe he didn't.
In case you ever wondered how Republicans could screw up so many budgets and get so many economic concepts wrong (e.g. tax cuts raise revenues!), all you've had to do is watch them try and perform simple arithmetic in caucuses this year.

They screwed up the winner in Iowa, then tried to save face by declaring "a tie." In Nevada, it took the state party three days to deliver final results, while one precinct had to do a recount of its 14 votes (it gets tricky when you run out of fingers).

And then there's Maine. See that 95 percent reporting marker on the screencap above? Well, it turns out Republicans can't even decide if that many votes have been counted.

The Maine GOP announced Saturday that Romney narrowly edged Ron Paul, 39 percent to 36 percent, in a nonbinding presidential preference poll taken during the caucuses. The margin was fewer than 200 votes.

A number of communities were not included in that poll because they had not held their caucuses in time. Washington County Republicans postponed their caucuses, originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, because of a pending snowstorm and will now meet this Saturday. Other communities across the states also have caucuses scheduled for this weekend and later this month.

All along, state GOP officials said communities knew that their votes would not be included in the final results if they did not hold their caucus by Feb. 11.

However, a review of the town-by-town results released Saturday by the Maine GOP suggests that some communities that had caucused prior to Feb. 11 were not counted. Nearly all Waldo County towns held caucuses on Feb. 4 but those towns were blank in the results released by the state party. Additionally, Waterville held its caucuses ahead of time but were not included in the results.

Crazed Ron Paul supporters everywhere have just had their worst conspiracy paranoia confirmed. That storm in Washington County never materialized, and in any case, the predicted 3-4 inches would've been nothing for Maine. I mean, it's Maine. The Paul campaign even claimed that a Girl Scout event took place in the county as planned (though media efforts to corroborate didn't appear to pan out).

In any case, Iowa, Nevada and now Maine prove that if the GOP really wants to find a foolproof way to pick a nominee, it'll have to find a way to do it without having to resort to things such as "numbers" and "math." That's just not its strong suit.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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