If I were Mitt Romney, I wouldn’t be wanting any more debates any time soon. Romney got beat up last night on his tax returns and his lack of conviction, and he didn’t look as good on the ropes as he has in the past.

The odds are stacked against him in these debates; no sane front-runner would agree to them if he had a choice. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry emptied their chambers last night. Candidates with nothing to lose are dangerous.

Will it matter? Again, Romney is so lucky in the draw. The majority of the opposition, which probably grew last night, seems hopelessly split, and none of the alternatives dominated.

As I watched the game efforts by Perry, Santorum and Gingrich — Ron Paul is in his own separate political universe — I couldn’t help thinking of an old Hunter Thompson line on candidates who keep running but can’t win: “They’re like a bunch of terminally ill farmers trying to borrow on next year’s crop.”