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Horse sense, anyone?

By Debra Dobbins

“Down to the wire” is an idiomatic expression that comes from horse racing. Long before we wired our world to enable us to capture every muscle twitch on InstaCam, a racetrack would have the old-fashioned kind of wire strung above the finish line to help spectators determine which horse placed first in a nose-to-nose finish.

The expression broadened over the years to mean any tight race.

Dan Maes has edged out Scott McInniss in the Republican primary bid for governor, so we can say the race went right down to the wire. Whether Maes remains the GOP’s choice is a “horse of a different color,” or an entirely different matter.

Meanwhile, Ken Buck could be considered somewhat of a “dark horse candidate.” He’s emerged victorious in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate over frontrunner Jane Norton. A dark horse candidate is one who is not initially favored to win.

This phrase also comes from racing. It means an unknown horse that is hard to place a wager on because bettors are uncertain about its capabilities.

As politicians head into the general election, we can only hope that each winner will use plenty of “horse sense“ in meeting the needs of Coloradoans.
 

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