There is an awful lot of loose talk about the GOP convention ending up in a dither and devolving from one of presenting a clear nominee beforehand to being a brokered convention where party operatives find no initial consensus and then have to launch into various machinations — veritable smoke-filled rooms — in order to find that nominee.

Since we don’t have an obvious winning nominee at this point — as we’ve had so many times in the past — people are uneasy, feeling wary, and many are downright discouraged about the whole primary process. It is going on too long, many feel, it is too vitriolic, too harsh, and no single candidate is rising above the din, they fear.

Worse, this whole situation gives the lie to the claim that Mitt Romney is “Mr. inevitable,” or the one “that can win.” If he was so great, the feeling goes, he would by now have made his nomination a done deal. And so, because of all this uncertainty and discontent talk of a brokered convention is being bandied about all over the place.

Today, for instance, Mississippi Governor and one time purported candidate for the nomination himself, Haley Barbour, has indulged some talk of a brokered convention, though he give the caveat that it is “highly unlikely.”

Still he leaves the possibility open.

“There is an outside chance, unlikely though it is, that you could get to the convention and have three or four candidates still in the race, none of them close to having a majority of delegates,” he says. “But the idea that there would be a contested convention, where you actually arrive in Tampa and nobody has the votes, would defy decades of history.”

Maybe, might kudda shudda wudda.

Barbour, though, wants to put people at ease… and, no, not because he could be one of the brokered offerings – he’s ruled that out.

“The fact of the matter is that the contests have gone through mid-February. We have three-and-a-half months to go,” he says. “You may very well see one of these four candidates, one who hits stride and turns out to be the best candidate we ever had.”

Still, the natives are restless and there is a lot of continued talk about dumping all four of the remaining candidates and picking one of the no-rans like Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Me, I think it is just as unlikely as Barbour thinks it is. Because we made some major alterations in the primary dates, that is one of the reasons no one has it sewn up yet. Still, the unease is not entirely unwarranted as it is also because our candidates have some major flaws that are vexing voters.

In any case, we’ll see, won’t we?