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How 'dangerous' is Ron Paul to the Republican platform?

Ron Paul finished a strong second in New Hampshire, which means his 'dangerous' ideas will likely shape the GOP platform. Ron Paul followers are younger and older independents.


Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, speaks to supporters during an election night really in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.

(AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

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Outside of his campaign, few people think he is a threat to win the Republican nomination for president.

And yet, Texas Congressman Ron Paul has pulled in a big chunk of the votes in both states where Republicans have voted on potential nominees.

On Tuesday, Paul finished second in the New Hampshire primary with nearly one-quarter of the vote, a week after finishing third in the Iowa caucuses.

For Paul, 76, it was the latest example of how his anti-establishment campaign has made him a player in the Republican nomination process - and even a potential force as a third-party candidate.

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Paul has been pilloried by rivals as being out of step with mainstream Republican views - a charge he doesn't seem to mind - but his appeal to a core group of young voters, retirees and others is becoming difficult to ignore.

At the very least, his continued success ensures he will continue to be a factor in the campaign as it heads south for primaries in South Carolina (Jan. 21) and Florida (Jan. 31).

During a fiery speech before supporters last night in Manchester, Paul hit on familiar themes.

He railed against the Federal Reserve's influence on the economy, basking in chants of, "End the Fed, end the Fed."


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