FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Keep your eyes on Ron Paul...
Because the Texas Congressman could have a major effect on the 2012 presidential race - whether or not he's the nominee.
Paul - who probably has the most passionate supporters of all the Republican candidates - is not ruling out a third party run.
He says he has no intention of mounting a third party bid for the White House, but - and it's a big but - he's not ruling it out.
A recent poll shows Paul getting 18% of the vote in a three-way contest against President Obama and Mitt Romney. And most of Paul's support would come at the expense of Mitt Romney.
That's why some Republicans call it a "nightmare scenario." They worry that a Ron Paul run would benefit President Obama - maybe even securing him a second term.
We've seen it before: When Ross Perot ran as a third party candidate in 1992 - the conventional wisdom was he handed Bill Clinton the election. Without Perot in the race, President Bush would have likely won re-election. Ralph Nader has also made several third party runs.
Plus, it's worth pointing out that our electoral system is stacked against a third party ever winning the White House.
Meanwhile - don't count Ron Paul out of the race for the Republican nomination quite yet.
Some say he could be a real threat in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
One poll shows Paul in a virtual four-way tie for first place in Iowa... and he's polling in the top three in New Hampshire.
Some experts say they wouldn't be surprised if Paul wins the Iowa caucuses and then shakes up the race even further in New Hampshire.
Ron Paul has been talking sense for a long time.... with the country now circling the drain, maybe more people are ready to listen.
Here’s my question to you: Should Ron Paul launch a third party run if he doesn't win the Republican nomination?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Dave in Columbus, Ohio:
Absolutely. The man who predicted the economic collapse and the Iraq War's big problems, before they existed, should be able to challenge President Obama and Gov. Romney on these critical issues. Let's be honest, the 2012 election will likely shift the White House a little bit to the right or left, but Ron Paul is reshaping the political center in this country whether he wins or not.
As a supporter of Ron Paul for the nomination, I take offense at the very question you are asking. It is another attempt by the media to make Ron Paul appear to be a candidate on the margins. He is making a real move in polling in Iowa and NH and with solid finishes there he is a real contender for the Republican nomination. With any other candidate, you would be talking about his surge in the polls and the potential of nomination – I, for one, am tired of the media telling me who to vote for based on your assumptions of who is electable.
He definitely should! Even if you don’t agree with him on specific issues, you can't argue with the fact that he respects the Constitution and would bring the founding document back to the forefront of American politics - the way it was supposed to be.
Charles in Clarksville, Tennessee:
Of course he should! The country will have to take its bitter medicine sooner or later. The GOP will either wake up and get behind Dr. Paul or we will all suffer through another 4 years of President Obama. Everyone but the establishment GOP is waking up - and from now on, there will be a Ron Paul in every election.
Mary Ann in New Jersey:
If Ron Paul is not given a fair shake in the primaries, then I will not hold my nose and vote for the neo-con the main stream media presents to me. I pray he runs.
Only if Ron Paul wants Obama to get four more years.