Should Ron Paul Abandon the GOP and Run as an Independent?

As Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary in convincing fashion on Tuesday night, the other remaining GOP candidates were left pondering the uncertain futures of their campaigns. The future of Ron Paul’s campaign is significantly more important to the presidential election than any of the others. 

Romney looks set to extend his already large lead in the race with the South Carolina primary, and considering recent poll numbers, South Carolina will more than likely be the end of Jon Huntsman's and Rick Perry’s campaigns.  Barring a drastic shift in momentum by any one of them, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and, especially, Ron Paul will have tough decisions to make concerning the course of their campaigns as well. Realistically, Romney could all-but secure the GOP nomination with a good showing in Florida’s primary on January 31.

Unlike his competitor’s campaigns, Ron Paul’s campaign may not be over if Romney is elected the Republican party’s candidate. Paul could decide to run as an Independent, which would surely anger many in the Republican Party because of his potential to draw votes away from the eventual GOP candidate. 

What do you think? If Paul fails to secure the GOP nomination, should he run as an Independent? Is this fair to the Republican Party? Does he stand a chance of winning the presidency, or even a significant portion of the vote, if he runs as an Independent?

Photo Credit: JohnE777