Mitt Romney won the Maine Republican caucuses held this weekend, taking 52% of the vote and all 18 delegates, despite support for McCain by the state's leading Republican elected officials.
Will this be the Mittster's last hurrah? Probably. Polls show McCain leading Romney in every Super Tuesday state except Massachusetts and Utah, although a couple states, such as California, are close.
Maine also illustrates the difference between caucuses, which tend to be dominated by the more conservative wing of the party, and primaries, which often include independents. As the conservative wing, urged on by the fulminations of Limbaugh, Coulter, Buchanan and their ilk, belatedly coalesces around Romney, he may do well in the Super Tuesday caucuses.
Unfortunately for Mitt, Huckabee is still hanging around, siphoning off the harder-core evangelical vote, which is not quite as receptive to a shrew like Ms. Coulter.
At one time, we thought Huckabee could carry a few states on Super Tuesday besides his home state of Arkansas, but now we're not so sure. Georgia looked solid for him just two weeks ago, but polls now show McCain leading there, and the state's two quite conservative GOP Senators have now endorsed the McCainster.
The one last hope for Romney: he carries enough caucus states and gets enough California delegates to keep on going, while Huckabee gets knocked out. That might let the anti-McCain movement finish its coalescing around Romney for the last round of contests, but we think it's likely to be too late by then, especially with the MSM fawning all over McCain.