One South Carolina factoid I haven't seen commented on elsewhere: Rick Santorum ran closer to Mitt Romney than Romney did to Newt Gingrich. Romney and Gingrich are the front-runners, but any of the three could be the nominee.

Or it could be someone not yet in the race.

Two months ago, I wrote an editorial headlined “Evitable.” The subhead captured the thrust of the piece: “It might not be Mitt. It could be Newt. It could be someone else.”

The editorial concluded:

Or, if Iowa (January 3), New Hampshire (January 10) and South Carolina (January 21) produce fragmented results, and the state of the race is disheartening to Republicans, a late January entry [I'd now say an early February entry] by another candidate isn't out of the question, either . . .

“With a splintered field in a turbulent time in an Internet age, there are more possible outcomes in today's politics than are dreamt of in the philosophy of inevitability.”

I notice a new online petition was launched Saturday night to try to produce one possible outcome. It’s at

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