A Scott Brown victory tonight will certainly be huge for Republicans- but will it be big for conservatives?
In the sense that it could kill health care and other major Democratic initiatives of course. But in the sense that Republicans are best off nominating far right candidates who the party base is completely comfortable with not so much.
Consider this: 41% of Massachusetts voters either think that Brown is a liberal or moderate and with them he holds a 79-18 lead. 59% think he's a conservative and with them Martha Coakley has a 63-32 lead.
Brown is doing well with the voters who don't think he's a conservative and badly with the ones who think he is. That has interesting implications for the party moving forward this year- they're better off nominating candidates who don't come across as extremists or tea baggers. Whether the base will get the message that that's the path to victory remains to be seen.