1. The OH polls this morning show a very narrow Romney lead. It looks just like the situation in MI the day before . . . Santorum has to win to remain a credible candidate.

2. MEANWHILE, there’s quite the Newt surge in TN, where we now have a three-way tie. Newt’s lead in Georgia continues to expand, mostly at the expense of Santorum.

3. So Romney is kind of in the McCain Super-Tuesday situation four years ago. He’s not going to be getting all that many votes—except in Virginia (where Paul is his only opponent) and Taxachussets—but his opposition is very divided and in disarray. Newt’s clerical ineptitude in VA (well, Santorum’s too) is turning out to be really important.

4. So Pete is sadly correct that the two remaining non-Romneys have flunked their screen tests, but voters may ineffectually return to one or another over the next couple of months in false hope or real desperation.

5. Pete’s also right that the evidence that Romney actually recommended a national health-care mandate might fatally compromise him in a showdown with the president.

6. Another reason to be discouraged is the double-digit lead Obama now enjoys over all the remaining Republicans.

7. Someone might respond: Romney has been overcoming double-digit deficits all winter.

8. Jim Ceaser might be right that if I were a Kantian I’d be more about doing my duty to Romney through extravagant praise and my personal vote.

9. But Kant is the least attractive philosopher to me. That has has nothing necessary to do with any “higher power,” but with personal happiness not being an oxymoron.

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