Let me finish tonight with this.
There's a chance that this competition for the Republican nomination could break open at last. Look at the closeness between Santorum and Romney in their match-ups with President Obama. Both are either within the margin of error or slight underdogs.
This tells us that with all the "hard Right" talk by Santorum, he is still seen by voters as about the same as Romney, the man who makes efforts--not calling Obama a "socialist," not saying he's a "Tea Partier"--to keep himself in contention for those in the political middle.
But the polls tell us something else: how much the Republican nomination is worth.
It's apparently worth a lot. People, as I said, are divided very closely on either sticking with the President right now or going with one of his potential adversaries, either Romney or Santorum.
Why? Because of gasoline prices going up? Because of the slowness of the recovery? Or because both of these realities are finally catching on with people, encouraging them with the belief that Obama doesn't yet have things under control.
The fact is, again, this is going to be a very hot race for this November election; and, again, it's going to be about the economy.
Related from the Hardball blog: