An analysis of campaign finance data shows the extent to which Romney took Maine for granted. A November 2011 report by the New York Times found that Romney and his political action committees gave more than $100,000 to Republican candidates in New Hampshire since the 2008 election. This allowed Romney to lock up crucial support in the Granite State well in advance of the primary.
How much did Romney spend on state races in Maine? A measly $750, in a single 2010 contribution from his Free and Strong America PAC to gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage.
By contrast, Romney gave $25,000 to the New Hampshire Republican Party, and countless smaller contributions to various state candidates, according to the Times.
Here’s how the Boston Globe put it on the heels of Romney’s New Hampshire primary win last night:
Mitt Romney made a crucial decision after his disastrous defeat in the 2008 New Hampshire Republican primary. He would court John H. Sununu, the former governor who had become chairman of the state Republican Party and now needed help.
In the following two years, Romney provided that help, raising money for Republican candidates across the state, including sheriffs, councilors, state House and Senate candidates, and congressional aspirants. With Romney’s assistance, Sununu and the Republican Party scored huge gains, regaining control of both the state House and Senate, laying a foundation of support that paid off in Romney’s victory last night in the Republican presidential primary.
Not nearly the case in Maine. Up until yesterday, Romney’s hardly bothered with us at all. His last-minute efforts to stave off a Maine defeat may very well prove to be too little too late.
Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC also gave $5,000 to Olympia Snowe last year.