By STEVE PEOPLES
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Maine caucuses come at a critical time for Mitt Romney.
The 1-time GOP front-runner is looking to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat on Saturday.
Romney has stepped up efforts to court local Republicans. He's locked in a two-man race with Texas congressman Ron Paul. Neither Newt Gingrich nor Rick Santorum are actively competing in the state.
Romney hopes to use Maine to help move past what may have been his worst week of the campaign. He was swept by Santorum in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado on Tuesday.
Paul is fighting to prove he can win, period. His strategy is based on winning smaller caucus states.
Party officials plan to announce their winner Saturday night when Maine's weeklong GOP presidential caucuses wind up.