Yesterday was a glorious one for the movement.
Nikki Haley won in South Carolina - which really wasn't a surprise. Gresham Barrett embarrassed himself by even staying in the race, but I suppose it was even more entertaining that way.
Utah was a less certain situation. In the absence of any credible polling, no one really had a handle on how either candidate was doing. Mike Lee had a great week going in. Everyone on the ground had anecdotal input... which means exactly nothing when the numbers start coming in.
Mike Lee is a solid, small government candidate. There was a stark contrast between him and Tim Bridgewater, the establishment candidate who proved he'd break on the side of big government when challenged in the form of TARP and Medicare Part D. It was a clear establishment vs. movement moment, and we came out victorious.
What we proved yesterday is that conservative principles win. Small government wins. Less spending wins. We don't need a Sarah Palin endorsement or millions and millions of dollars. We don't need to compromise our message and try to play both sides of the aisle. Candidates: Be conservative. Articulate your message. Engage the grassroots.
We can win because we're right.
Here's where I saw the most room for improvement in Utah, and I'd be willing to wager that we need more of this nationwide: We need volunteers. Campaigns need people to run their ground game - pounding signs, making phone calls, handing out literature, and helping GOTV efforts. It's critical, especially the last 72 hours of the campaign. If you're in a state with a hot race this year (Nevada, Kentucky, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Florida, I'm looking at you) connect with your local Tea Party organization or campaign. That way, the network is in place, and when it comes time to give our guys a push across the finish line, we don't have to spend precious time digging up contacts.
If you aren't sure where to go, start with FreedomWorks or any local Tea Party.
We've still got a lot of work to do before November, folks. Don't get lazy - this is when it matters.