HALFWAY HOME. As I had predicted, Matt Santos won the presidency last night on The West Wing, eking out a surprise win in Nevada. Now the stage is set for the completion of my prediction, the more interesting second part: Santos, in the wake of Leo McGarry�s death, names Arnold Vinick as his national unity vice-president.

Is there any question about this now? Indeed, the only question is that it seems so ludicrously obvious that they might not do it just to throw us a curve. Incredibly, Jacques Steinberg�s piece in today�s Times about how the writers flipped from a Vinick win to a Santos victory after the real-life John Spencer died didn�t even go into the veepstakes scenarios.

The episode, by the way, was great. And even though Santos won South Carolina and Vinick Vermont, it otherwise was rich in verisimilitude, with no hint that the fate of the nation was hanging on the results from Berkshire County.

--Michael Tomasky