McCAIN’S CHANCES….As Josh Marshall points out, John McCain got stomped in Michigan among self-described Republicans. He also got stomped among Republicans in Iowa, and even lost (though closely) among Republicans in New Hampshire. Independents might like him, but basically, John McCain just isn’t doing well among Republicans in the Republican primary.

Elsewhere, Ezra Klein highlights Rush Limbaugh’s spittle-flecked hatred of both McCain and Mike Huckabee: “I’m here to tell you, if either of these two guys get the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party.” Ouch.

Put those things together with the fact that future primaries are mostly closed, which means that only Republicans will be voting in the Republican contests, and McCain’s chances suddenly don’t look so good. Ditto for Huckabee, who’s shown very little ability to appeal much beyond his evangelical base. And ditto for Rudy Giuliani, who might very well be dead before Super Tuesday even rolls around.

Somehow, every time I go through this exercise, the only possible winner seems like Mitt Romney, even though his national support levels don’t look so hot. On the other hand, Romney not only won Michigan last night, but he beat everyone else, including Huckabee, among evangelicals. That seems promising for the Romney cause.

But I’m still rooting for a brokered convention. Hooray for smoke-filled GOP rooms!

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