Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

The old saying goes, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Though there are some select exceptions, the message is truer than ever when it comes to politics. Simply put, very few people remember the candidate who loses.

The Massachusetts special election will be the same. To be sure, coming close in a state that has long bled blue would be a moral victory.  Rick Wilson, a veteran GOP advertising man, said it best,

“If you thought New Jersey or Virginia had national implications for Democrats, then Scott Brown even getting this close to the kill zone sends a message that Republicans can compete anywhere. “Democrats have made a big deal calling this, ‘Ted Kennedy’s seat,’ if she just scrapes this out and she wins by 5, 6, 7 percent, the Ted Kennedy message has been squandered.”

Recent polling shows the race to be close. Rasmussen’s newly released poll has Martha Coakley slightly ahead of Republican rival Brown 49%-to-47%. When “leaners” are taken out of the equation Brown actually leads Coakley by a 1% margin and if you only look at those who are “absolutely certain to vote” then Brown wins by 2%. Bottom line: it is an incredibly close race.

Close, except in one key constituency: 18-29 year olds where Coakley currently leads Brown by a 61% to 24% margin. That is the difference in the race. If we cut those margins amongst our young adult constituency, we will eliminate the 2% Coakley lead.

Much was made about the leaked Coakley memo that made an “urgent” appeal for “help” because this is a “very tight race.” Well consider this my own urgent appeal. College Republicans are the margin of victory in this race. We have the opportunity to elect the 41st Republican into the Senate and destroy the Democratic supermajority. For a group whose impact in politics is often marginalized, we now find ourselves with the awesome power to reshape an out of control agenda that is spending our generation into bankruptcy.

Scott Brown and the conservative grassroots movement in Massachusetts has already done the unthinkable and made this race close. But we can be the tipping point that ensures this race is not just a moral victory, but an actual victory. We are the 2% Scott Brown needs…let’s make sure he gets it.