As Mitt Romney pivots to the general election race against President Obama, his challengers from the heated GOP primary line up behind the former Massachusetts governor, with former Sen. Rick Santorum the latest to grant his endorsement, albeit without much fanfare. However one Republican candidate refuses to step aside; supporters of Rep. Ron Paul may take his candidacy to the convention. Ken Walsh reports that if Paul is not given a televised speech in Tampa, his followers may protest the convention, wreaking havoc on the Republican Party. Though Romney has 856 delegates to Paul's estimated 94 and will almost inevitably reach the 1,144 needed to seal the nomination in the coming primaries, convention rules allow that if a nominee is not chosen on the first ballot, delegate votes are freed up to be pledged to another candidate in subsequent rounds of voting. Such a situation is highly unlikely. Nevertheless some strategists do worry that without the full support of the independents, libertarians, and young people that have passionately followed Paul, Romney will not be able to edge out Obama in November.
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Tierney Sneed is associate editor of U.S. News Opinion. E-mail her at email@example.com.