Maybe it’s pure stubbornness, maybe it’s a reluctance to listen to Romney recite the lyrics from “America the Beautiful” from now until November, or maybe it’s a small child’s refusal to believe that the circus is leaving town—but I keep wondering whether the fat lady truly has sung. Without fully dissenting from my colleague Ed Kilgore’s Gingrich-is-a-goner assessment, I keep picking up small signs that Romney may still be a little less inevitable than he seems.

On primary night in Florida, despite the plaintive signs reading, “46 STATES TO GO,” Gingrich finally tamed his public anger at Romney and returned to his South Carolina style of talking “about the power of ideas.” Romney’s scorched-earth campaign to neutralize Newt in Florida may have been a Pyrrhic victory—it gave the former Massachusetts governor the big primary win that he craved, but it also provided Gingrich with the motivation (namely: revenge) not to surrender until the Tampa convention. With no debates until February 22 in Arizona, Gingrich may struggle to hold a national audience, but he at least seems to have regained his handle on the affirmative—rather than petulant—tone that carried him to victory in the first southern primary…

While it may not prove fatal to Romney, it is still an open question whether he can win in the South. According to exit polls, Gingrich beat Romney by better than a two-to-one margin among evangelical voters in South Carolina. Even in Florida, where Gingrich and his allies were outspent by a four-to-one margin on television, the former House speaker narrowly edged Romney among born-again voters. In similar fashion, Gingrich’s strongest region was the Florida Panhandle, which can serve as a proxy for the Deep South.