A few final thoughts on South Carolina:

1. The most recent numbers in South Carolina continue to indicate a two-man race between John McCain and Mike Huckabee. Of course, while scientific samplings are fairly accurate most of the time, we have grown accustomed to wildly erroneous polling in recent days. Is there one more surprise out there? That is, can Fred Thompson come from nowhere to impact this contest? Unlikely on its face--but certainly not impossible.

An aside: In a real physical sense, I cannot seem to accept the idea of McCain or Huckabee winning tomorrow night. Of course, that very well may be my heart talking--rather than some prescient instinct.

2. Some positive notes:

With Romney concentrating on Nevada, the "Stop McCain and Huckabee" movement has one clear alternative in the Palmetto State: Fred.

The late-breaking “undecideds” are the element that has been giving pollsters fits. Fred has a shot at swaying this vital segment (see below).

If the conservative establishment has any power in South Carolina, Fred Thompson ought to win a lot of votes. The big boys of talk radio have pressed hard for Thompson over the last forty-eight hours. They are the noncoms of the conservative army--and they are important. How influential? We will know soon.

Fred is doing us proud, finally hitting his stride and finding his voice (to borrow a phrase). For the last fortnight, he has been heads and tails above the crowd at every outing.

3. Pointing Fingers: Fred's unorthodox anti-campaign campaign is an acquired taste; it takes time to appreciate his retro approach. I sense that he is on the verge of breaking through, but almost is not going to make it tomorrow night. No results in SC and Fred Thompson is finished.

If he does not come through tomorrow night, who to blame?

The Republican faithful for overlooking him amidst the circus; we should have worked harder to see the big picture.

The media for dismissing him when he turned out to be different than what they anticipated.

And Fred himself for not giving us more time. It is one thing to wage a laid-back under-the-radar campaign that attempts to turn back time--but he should have understood that his method might take some time to sink in. Offering the least glitzy and least dynamic style is not a good combination with the most truncated campaign.

4. Not writing Fred off (holding out some hope), but, if the worst happens, it is Romney the rest of the way by default.