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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

Romney Wins Maine Caucuses Preference Poll

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to a packed crowd at CPAC 2012 in Washington D.C. on Friday Feb. 10, 2012.(CHET SUSSLIN)

February 11, 2012

Mitt Romney completed a double-barreled comeback Saturday night with a victory in Maine. He won 39 percent of the votes cast in preference polls at caucuses throughout the state. Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in second with 36 percent.

(PICTURES: Scenes from CPAC)

Earlier Saturday, Romney pulled off a surprise win at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington. The former Massachusetts governor topped the CPAC field with 38 percent of the vote at the gathering of conservative activists.

 

(RELATED: Romney's Psychological Boost Better Than No Boost at All)

"I thank the voters of Maine for their support," Romney said in a statement released after the results were announced. "I’m committed to turning around America. And I’m heartened to have the support of so many good people in this great state."

The pair of victories did not bring Romney any of the national convention delegates needed to win the GOP nomination -- the CPAC straw poll was purely a beauty contest, and Maine's delegates will be chosen in May at a state convention. But they did help Romney finish a bad week on a high note. On Tuesday, he lost the Missouri primary and the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses to former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

(PICTURES: Gaffes that Changed Presidential Campaigns)

Santorum and former House speaker Newt Gingrich did not compete in Maine, making it essentially a two-man race between Romney and Paul. Santorum won 18 percent of the vote in Maine, while Gingrich won 6 percent.

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