About an hour into the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, convention officials presented a video tribute to Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas, whose grass-roots efforts during the Republican primary attracted an energetic and loyal following.
The question now is whether those same loyal Paul supporters will become loyal Romney supporters, or at least Romney voters by November.
It remains an open question. Congressman Paul has not endorsed Romney, and the Republican National Committee has angered many Paul supporters by changing its rules and procedures specifically to undercut Paul's influence. For example, though Paul supporters had managed to capture 20 of Maine's 24 delegate slots, the GOP replaced 10 of them. Some Paul supporters walked out of the convention in protest.
But images broadcast from the convention floor give little sense of a potential rift. All signs trumpet Romney campaign themes and mention only two people – Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan.
But that doesn't mean there aren't Ron Paul signs out there. As a Ron Paul tribute played on the large screen behind the podium Wednesday night, Paul supporters rose throughout the hall to cheer. But when one began waving a "Ron Paul 2012" sign, then... Watch the video and see what happened.
Security at the convention has been taking away Ron Paul signs, The Huffington Post reports. When one delegate resorted to waving a Ron Paul mouse pad at the camera, that, too, was confiscated, according to the report.
"They're violating the integrity of their own process," Mike Zentz, an alternate delegate for Paul from Honolulu, told HuffPo. "What's the point of the convention if they won't listen to the voice of their own people? We may as well just ask the RNC to pick the nominee from now on."