Romney Wins State’s First GOP CaucusMarch 14, 2012, 8:06 AM HST (Updated March 14, 2012, 8:49 AM)
Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the 50th state’s first ever GOP caucus. The Associated Press called the race just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, after close to 80% of the precincts reported their results.
Romney took a short lead right out of the gate when the first results were posted just before 8:30 p.m., and at that time, it appeared to be a three person race, as Ron Paul and Rick Santorum held very close with Romney.
Paul started to fall out of contention just after 10 p.m., when that printout showed that he had trailed the eventual winner by 12%, or over 450 votes. 27 of the state’s 45 precincts had reported by that time, and it was down to Romney and Santorum, with a 179 vote difference between the two.
When the race was called, Romney’s lead had grown tremendously. With 80% of the precincts accounted for, Romney’s lead had grown to over 1,400 votes over Santorum, a 20% difference, and grew to an over 2,000 vote difference by the time every precinct had reported.
In the island-wide voting breakdown, Romney got the most votes on every main island except for the Big Island. On the island’s 11 precincts, Romney finished in second place, 22 votes behind Ron Paul, a difference of one percentage point. Paul finished nine votes behind Romney on the island of Maui and its eight polling locations, also a difference of one percentage point. The biggest difference was the island of Oahu, where Romney took a commanding 52% of the votes at its 23 locations, over 1,600 votes better than Santorum.
With the caucus win, Romney secured nine of the state’s 17 delegates, while Santorum picked up four, and Paul got one. Newt Gingrich did not receive a single delegate, losing by over 3,200 votes.
Final Results (All 45 precincts reported):
x Mitt Romney – 45% (4,250 votes)
Rick Santorum – 25% (2,369 votes)
Ron Paul – 18% (1,712 votes)
Newt Gingrich – 11% (1,034)
x – Caucus winner