The results of the Maine caucuses are being reported tonight, but neither Nate Silver or I will be making any predictions because there were ZERO polls taken. Since Maine is so close to Massachusetts, both Santorum and Gingrich put in zero effort, but Ron Paul has been wooing Maine voters like crazy. There are people predicting an upset, but there is no real data, so these are just wild guesses. There are 24 delegates up for grabs, twice as many as New Hampshire this year because of penalties handed out to the Granite State. But no one polled the good people of Maine, so we'll just have to wait until this evening to find out what happened.
The other numbers that will be released today are the results of the CPAC Straw Poll. There is no point in a polling company trying to poll such a small and meaningless gathering, but winning here at least gives a campaign a little boost in the 24 hour news cycle. The organizers are miffed that Ron Paul won the straw poll in both 2011 and 2010, so they changed the way the contest is run to make it easier for all attendees to have their voice heard. While the victories of Paul in the last two years are something of an embarrassment for the organization, Almost no one brings us that before Paul's winning streak the winner of the straw poll in 2007, 2008 and 2009 was... Mitt Romney.
This gives you some idea why the press covers CPAC. It's easy to get to (held in D.C.) and it's always good for a laugh. It had a "reputation" as the herald of Ronald Reagan back in the day, but like the rest of the conservative movement, the successes they can point to since then are few and far between, especially now that George W. Bush has been erased from history, even by his own team. The Bush whitewash is so effective, the ghost of Joseph Stalin let loose a low whistle and said with admiration, "Damn. You guys aren't playing around, are you?"