Win or lose tonight, the McCain camp was hoping at least to win over the support of Rudy Giuliani, who appears to be competing with McCain for the same, more-moderate pool of voters.

Now, with exit poll numbers apparently showing that Giuliani drew only about half of the vote McCain and Romney received in the state he had conceded was a must-win for him, McCain’s people say they are looking for ways to finesse a quick endorsement. Such a thing would not be unexpected, in the Everybody-Hates-Mitt GOP field. A bigger question is when, McCain insiders say privately. There had been hope for something as early as Wednesday morning--but it seems more likely that they'll at least have to wait until after the debate that night.

(Of course, the McCain team had been hopeful for an endorsement from Thompson after South Carolina, too, and that has yet to materialize.)