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Others say the jury is still out, reflecting exit polls from New Hampshire and South Carolina that showed that Paul supporters, more than the other candidates’ followers, said they would not be satisfied with Mr. Romney as their nominee and would not support his presidential candidacy.

In the hallways outside the main ballroom at CPAC over the weekend, Paul supporters were talking with one another about what alternatives they have come November.

Lisa Miller, of Tea Party WDC, criticized Mr. Romney’s support of universal health care in Massachusetts and said he has “a lack of familiarity” with the Constitution. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, she said, supported budgets that funded Planned Parenthood, and Newt Gingrich supported “cap-and-trade,” presided over debt increases as speaker of the House and “is about the least-sincere conservative that I know.”

“If the GOP is actually serious about winning, they have to show they are serious by cutting spending now, and not just Kabuki theater where they pretend they are for limited government and then they collapse,” she said. “I think they are playing incompetents and idiots — in order to keep the spending going.”