The cost of defeat

It's a good thing Mitt Romney has a substantial personal fortune behind him, because his delegates aren't coming cheap.

Published February 6, 2008 2:56PM (EST)

"All you guys are family," Mitt Romney said to supporters the night he lost Florida's primary to John McCain, before going on to joke, "Don't expect to be part of the inheritance. I'm not sure there's going to be much left after this."

Hopefully, Romney's five sons are still laughing, because we now have an estimate of exactly how much it's cost Romney to win each delegate he's earned so far, and the results aren't pretty for anyone still hoping to get a piece of the Romney estate.

The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman reports a calculation done by Alex Vogel, a Republican strategist, showing that Romney has spent $1.16 million per delegate at this point in the race. At that rate, it would cost Romney $1.33 billion to become the Republican presidential nominee. And remember, a lot of the Romney campaign's money is coming from Romney himself -- in the fourth quarter of 2007, the campaign announced over $27 million in total receipts; $18 million of that was Romney's personal money.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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