The Republican primary race was tougher, longer, and more expensive than almost anyone thought. Although there are a few holdouts (I'm talking about you Mr. Gingrich), nearly everyone now realizes that the primary race is a lock for Mitt Romney. Some are calling out Rick Santorum for being graceless in not backing his party's presumptive nominee in his campaign suspension speech and although I wish he had been able to say something positive, there's no immediate need . . . I trust that he will come around when the hot lights of the election process have cooled down.

Now that the primary is over, it's time to start the big show. If you thought the primary was brutal, then just hold on to your hat. John King (the other, much more famous one) recently demonstrated how tight the election could be. Although it's much too early in the general election to be able to predict which way the swing states will swing, King's analysis of the electoral college votes is pretty enlightening.

The state by state breakdown will likely be tight, but the real reason this election season will be intense is the money. Because of campaign finance rules, most of the money that will be spent will go toward negative ads. The nation is about to endure a pitched battle between two politicians backed by some of the deepest war chests in history. Whoever wins the election will likely spend the next four years shaking off the mud.