What kind of cost did the protracted, sometimes-ugly primary take on both voters and candidates? It's difficult to discern the electoral consequences, but we can look at the financial toll taken.
CNN Money has, and Mitt Romney spent a king's ransom to capture the GOP nod.
Romney spent a total of $76.6 million, far more than any other campaign. That total is, for example, more than the combined spending of Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.
At the end of March, the Romney camp had captured 607 delegates and 4.1 million votes. That means the candidate, who has cultivated a reputation as a penny-pincher, spent $18.50 per vote, and $126,000 per delegate.
This is a huge amount of money that the Romney camp spent, and even larger considering what the Obama Administration has been raising - as the article notes, the Obama campaign has raised nearly $200 million. Mitt has a very long way to go to match that total - the Obama money machine is slick, efficient and already raising gobs of money.