What to say about last night's results? As one commentator in my twitter feed noted, there's enough here for everyone to spin. Or as Orin Kerr put it:
I think there are four obvious lessons to draw from tonight's election returns:
1. For Conservative Republicans: The America people reject Barack Obama and obviously want true conservative leadership. The Governorships of two states have switched to the "R" category, showing a grassroots conservative movement that is alive and well.
2. For Moderate Republicans: The American people obviously want old-fashioned economic conservatives who are moderate on social issues. McDonnell in Virginia and Christie in New Jersey won by downplaying social issues; Hoffman in New York-23 lost because he was too extreme.
3. For Moderate Democrats: The party out of power usually does well in off-year elections like this, and this year was no exception. But obviously there is no sign of any substantial shift in public opinion from the election of 2008.
4. For Liberal Democrats: NY-23 was the race to watch this year, given that right-wing extremists like Palin and Beck threw all their support behind Hoffman. But the district voters rejected the right-wing candidate, sending a Democrat to Congress for the first time in one hundred years. Obviously this shows that the American people reject right-wing extremism.
The lessons for me? Gay marriage is tough to pass in most states, and both parties should rethink the primary challenges, which don't seem to be working out for anyone. Robocalling polls seem to be disturbingly effective. Even Mike Bloomberg can get spanked (lightly) by anti-incumbent fever.
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