"The more delegates I have, the more leverage I have"

So even as his aides plot a strategy to pick up delegates, they are beginning to plan how to use the leverage they are gaining to try to force the party to take his and his supporters’ views into account, signaling what Mr. Paul would want to party officials and rival candidates who are eager for the backing of his fervent following but nervous that he might undertake a third-party bid.

One person close to the Paul campaign said this could include support for greater transparency at the Federal Reserve, a commitment to address what Mr. Paul views as the Patriot Act’s infringement on civil liberties and a curb on the powers of any president to wage war without Congressional approval. And the campaign wants Mr. Paul’s supporters to have a voice and a role in the national party machinery — just like they do in many state Republican parties — no matter who becomes the nominee…

Asked whether he believed he would have the leverage to make Republicans more willing to accommodate his supporters and positions, he said: “I don’t know how they’re going to handle it. Because we’re very precise on what we would like, and I can’t imagine all of a sudden one of the other candidates changing their position on their desire to go to war constantly.”