Ron Paul
Beware of Ron Paul running as an independent.

He finished a close third in Iowa but is effectively out of the race.

He has proven, however, that young people will flock to him as he utterly dominated the under 40 vote in the Iowa caucus.

The enthusiasm gap is real for Republicans. Only 120,000 took part in the Iowa caucuses down from 180,000 four years ago.

That is a stunning drop.

That is also bad news for Mitt Romney who eked out a victory in Iowa but has that warmed over feel for many voters.
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--------------- Paul will be very tempted to run on the Libertarian line and could ignite a passionate following of young people like what Barack Obama did in 2008.

He has deserted the GOP before to run as a Libertarian. In 1988 he got close to a half million votes.

He would do enormously better this year were he to run.

The enthusiasm gap for Mitt Romney among not just young people but party conservatives generally makes it entirely possible that Paul will make a bid from the right.

The demise of Rick Perry has certainly opened a door for someone from that flank of the party.

Romney looks unstoppable now because of his money advantage,

But Paul could still play a powerful role going forward.