Reports are that Dan Benishek has won the Republican Primary for MI-01 by a single vote. Just one vote in the unofficial count on the Michigan Secretary of State website separates Dr. Benishek from Jason Allen.
Benishek was polling well against Allen just one week ago, but the race tightened up as the election loomed. No one suspected this result, however. Few if any elections in recent history have been this close. Even the final tally in the 2000 Florida Presidential race was more than 200 votes. Certainly, the MI-01 vote will be recounted if Allen contests the results, and the vote total may change, but for now Benishek sits atop a single vote victory.
This result reminds us that every single conservative vote will count this November. 2010 could be as historic as 1994, or even more historic than that, if the right elections swing our way. Or they could be disastrous. The GOP has, unfortunately, been quite good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. One need only look back at one of the most famous election results in history.
In 1948, an American populace went to bed certain the Thomas Dewey and the Republicans would, after so many tries in the previous 16 years, finally defeat the Democrats and President Harry S. Truman. Newspapers ran the headline the following day. The photograph of Truman triumphantly holding up a copy of the Chicago Daily Tribune announcing "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" is now iconic.
What is often not remembered is that a swing of a few thousand votes in Illinois, Ohio and California could have easily tipped the election in favor of Dewey and changed the course of the 20th Century dramatically. Thomas Dewey verty truly nearly was the 34th President of the United States. Just 12 years later in 1960, just 9,000 votes separated Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy in Illinois. Kennedy lost everywhere in that state except in Chicago. While Illinois 27 electoral votes were not enough, in themselves, to deliver the electiton to Nixon, the hotly contested vote in Texas (along with its 24 electoral votes) would have.
The Michigan race reminds us that elections are never foregone conclusions. Even as new media and the polls indicate a historic shift in power this fall, and the old-guard media grudgingly admits that Conservatives have momentum, we cannot become complacent. We must not allow the hype to let us feel as though one vote won't matter.
Every conservative we can get to the polls at runoffs in Georgia, primaries in Delaware and Maryland and at the general election in November helps march back the tide of Cap and Tax, Unionization by Intimidation and helps reverse the Health Care Takeover. Every conservative at the polls is important. Every vote this year matters.
Cross-posted at The Minority Report.