At least three Republican electors say they may not support their party's presidential ticket when the Electoral College meets in December to formally elect the new president.

That prospect is escalating tensions within the GOP and adding a fresh layer of intrigue to the final weeks of the White House race.

The electors are all supporters of former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul. They tell The Associated Press they are exploring options should Mitt Romney win their states.

They express frustration at how Republican leaders have worked to suppress Paul's conservative movement and his legion of loyal supporters.

The defection of multiple electors would be unprecedented in the last 116 years of U.S. politics. And it would raise the remote possibility of a president and vice president from different parties.