— From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Romney won Maine's nonbinding presidential preference poll, 53%-22% over McCain. Ron Paul finished third with 19%; Huckabee was fourth with 5%. The voting took place at caucuses Friday and Saturday; the results were announced last night by the Maine Republican Party.
The nonbinding poll will be used as an indicator at the May 3rd state convention to select the state's 21, also unbound, delegates to the national convention.
Maine's caucuses, at 413 municipal caucuses, began Friday and continue through today, though the straw poll announcement was made last night because very few caucuses take place today. The Patriots are in the Super Bowl, after all, the state party explained.
Those 21 delegates (plus 19 alternates) are selected at the state convention from about 3,000-plus municipal delegates, who are selected this weekend.
At the state convention, those delegates will all agree (or not) to vote for the same person at national as selected in the straw poll. But if there's a strong contingent of delegates who are for Romney and a strong contingent for another candidate, then they could go to the national convention with a split delegation.