Through the sheer, persistent incompetence of every Republican campaign, the GOP primary will never, ever end.

Rick Santorum was already known as starting from a deficit, delegate-wise, in Ohio. He failed to qualify for any district delegates in three Ohio congressional districts because he didn't turn in delegate names there.

But his delegate troubles go deeper. According to the Ohio Republican Party tonight, the former Pennsylvania U.S. senator filed incomplete delegate slates in six additional Ohio districts.

Altogether, this means Santorum, who until this week had a fair lead in polls in the Republican nominating race, could be ineligible for 18 Ohio district delegates.

Ohio has 66 delegates total, 63 at stake next Tuesday. The candidate with the most delegates wins. Santorum therefore goes into the Ohio primary election with a 29 percent deficit.

One reason that Romney is likely to be a much weaker nominee than he should be is because he can't beat the incompetently run and underfunded Santorum and Gingrich campaigns, despite months of demonstrated inability on their parts to string together a competent message or structure beyond a week or two. Santorum can't win almost a third of Ohio's delegates. That's the sort of thing the vanity campaign of a candidate who never polled above one percent does, not the guy who's been an arguable frontrunner for the past few weeks.

Romney will win the nod this year because he ran the least awful campaign. "Least awful" is the standard you use for buying kitchen utensils at a dollar store, not for nominating the figurehead of a major political party.