Worst of all, there is no clear end in sight for what has become, in the eyes of many Republicans, a joyless and prolonged nomination fight. Even Romney victories in Michigan and Arizona, the two states voting Tuesday, have little chance of forcing his aggrieved opponents out of the race. With a vast personal fortune at his disposal, there’s no prospect of Romney being shunted aside by his foes. – Politico

It’s not the “knife fight” Republicans should worry about, as Politico’s Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns describe it. Obama and Clinton had the mother of all battles in 2008, but Democrats were exalted at the end. The problem for Republicans is the people throwing the knives.

There isn’t one GOP candidate who measures up to Obama or the challenge Hillary Clinton posed, with their battle one of political muscle, talent and intelligence, a race to the top of the idea pyramid.

Beyond Newt Gingrich’s 1% “infanticide” insults, Ron Paul’s foreign policy stink bomb, as Republicans see it, you’ve got Rick Santorum using the words “throw up” about John F. Kennedy’s seminal speech on religion and the presidency, while Mitt Romney is so discombobulated from turning himself inside out he’s forgotten he’s already lit his hair on fire for a base who will only support him if the alternative is a second Obama term.

As the finale of Michigan and Arizona contests arrive, Mitt Romney, even if he wins Michigan, is in a far worse position to beat Obama in November. That’s the real problem for Republicans, for which there isn’t a solution that doesn’t compound their problems.