Turnout critical to a Brown victory

Conservatives across the nation have every right to be heartened by polling numbers showing Scott Brown ahead of Martha Coakley in the race to fill Teddy Kennedy's old seat - correction: the people's seat. But the key to a special or off-year election win is turnout.

A survey released Sunday night by Public Policy Polling shows Brown with a five point advantage (51-46) over the stumbling Coakley. Brown's lead is within the margin of error.

More than a few campaigns have shown leads going into Election Day only to come up short when polls close. Gauging turnout remains one of the toughest challenges for pollsters, even the best ones. Why? Too many variables go into people's decisions to get out to vote, regardless their best intentions and expressed determination to do so. Polls can fairly accurately gauge intent with a couple of screening questions, but there's no way to predict actual turnout.

Understand, too, that the Democrats and unions, which dominate Massachusetts politics, have finally gotten their machines humming and will feverishly push their voters to the polls on Tuesday. Of course, unions, especially, have no control over their members once they're in voting booths. The secret ballot is a marvelous thing.

But the frantic efforts of Democrats and unions don't assure victory. Don't forget that the mighty British army and navy were defeated by a rag-tag collection of patriots. That victorious fight for liberty began in Massachusetts.

Here's to the Bay State's conservatives, tea party patriots and independents beating the Democrats' and union's machines on Tuesday. Massachusetts' voters have a chance to fire a shot tomorrow that will be heard across the country and, indeed, around the world.
Conservatives across the nation have every right to be heartened by polling numbers showing Scott Brown ahead of Martha Coakley in the race to fill Teddy Kennedy's old seat - correction: the people's seat. But the key to a special or off-year election win is turnout.

A survey released Sunday night by Public Policy Polling shows Brown with a five point advantage (51-46) over the stumbling Coakley. Brown's lead is within the margin of error.

More than a few campaigns have shown leads going into Election Day only to come up short when polls close. Gauging turnout remains one of the toughest challenges for pollsters, even the best ones. Why? Too many variables go into people's decisions to get out to vote, regardless their best intentions and expressed determination to do so. Polls can fairly accurately gauge intent with a couple of screening questions, but there's no way to predict actual turnout.

Understand, too, that the Democrats and unions, which dominate Massachusetts politics, have finally gotten their machines humming and will feverishly push their voters to the polls on Tuesday. Of course, unions, especially, have no control over their members once they're in voting booths. The secret ballot is a marvelous thing.

But the frantic efforts of Democrats and unions don't assure victory. Don't forget that the mighty British army and navy were defeated by a rag-tag collection of patriots. That victorious fight for liberty began in Massachusetts.

Here's to the Bay State's conservatives, tea party patriots and independents beating the Democrats' and union's machines on Tuesday. Massachusetts' voters have a chance to fire a shot tomorrow that will be heard across the country and, indeed, around the world.