The big dogs, of course, will keep at it. Dan Balz of The Washington Post and John Heilemann of New York Magazine won’t be touched. But everyone who isn’t a brand name political reporter is back on the leash. The army is already starting to demobilize as you read this. It just doesn’t know it yet.

This is how it ends for Newt Gingrich. On the day after the South Carolina primary, he had two busloads of reporters, bloggers and electronic media types following his every word. Tomorrow, he won’t need two buses. He’ll be lucky if the seats are filled on one.

Presidential candidates survive on the oxygen of media coverage. It’s what keeps them going, enables them to keep raising money. Once the coverage is withdrawn, it’s only a matter of time before their candidacies expire. Out of sight, out of mind, out of money.

After tonight, all but one of the GOP presidential candidates will start being taken off life support. By the time we get to Super Tuesday in early March, you probably won’t even remember Rick Santorum’s name.