Was Ron Paul’s 2012 Presidential Bid Good for the GOP?

Ron Paul's campaign is slowing down but the GOP candidate still seeks to spread his Libertarian views.

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Ron Paul hasn't officially dropped out of the 2012 presidential race, but on Monday his campaign announced that it will no longer spend money in states that haven't yet voted. The campaign "will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future," it said in a statement.

Paul is the last remaining Republican candidate standing between Mitt Romney and the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. However, with 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination, Paul's 104 delegates to Romney's 973 make it obvious he doesn't present a serious challenge.

[See political cartoons about the 2012 Republican campaign.]

The 76-year-old congressman from Texas ran on a libertarian platform, decrying the power of the federal government, advocating the abolition of  income taxes and business regulations, and promoting civil liberties. Many believe that Paul never had a real chance of becoming the Republican nominee, and perhaps as a result, his campaign didn't receive the same media coverage as that of Romney or several other one-time front-runners.

Despite this and Paul's lack of funds to continue actively campaigning, he still "encourage[s] all supporters of Liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and Congressional elections."  Paul has made it clear he isn't ready to admit he's obsolete, and will continue his attempt to spread his libertarian views to the Republican Party base. His was a unique voice in a crowded field of Republican candidates, but it remains to be seen whether his candidacy will have any effect on the overall national dialogue, what role he and his supporters will play at the Republican Party convention, and to what extent his views will be enshrined in the Republican Party platform.

What do you think? Was Ron Paul's influence on the 2012 primary good for the GOP? Click here to take the poll and comment below.