Marc Ambinder (11:56 p.m.)
Assuming that Bill Owens's victory holds through the counting of absentees, voters in the 23rd did not embrace Doug Hoffman like conservatives embraced him. Enough voters saw Hoffman as a carpetbagger -- he didn't even live in the district -- who was trying to hijack their district for his own ideological ends. This is a Republican district, but it's not a terribly conservative district. It's genteel more than activist. The final straw: Hoffman didn't even try to pretend that the election was about the issues of the district. It was all about him -- and what he represented. In a way, NY 23ers took to Hoffman like Iowans took to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in 2003. They wanted a representative, not a movement candidate. They didn't take kindly to all these outsiders telling them how to work.
Marc Ambinder (11:43 p.m.)
A tough night for gays: despite a huge, expensive and sophisticated effort in a moderate, fairly libertarian state, it looks like same-sex marriage will not be approved by voters in Maine. A domestic partnership initiative in Washington State is TBD.
Matthew Cooper (10:30 p.m.)If the Dems pick up the NY-23 House seat, what does it mean? A rejection of outsiders coming into a rural area and telling locals who their nominee should be? A victory for Democrats in general? A blow to the Republicans who endorsed Hoffman and offed the GOP nominee? However you spin it, not the best story going into Sarah Palin's book launch.
Marc Ambinder (10:20 p.m.)
The Republican wins in New Jersey and Virginia and the close race in New York City tells us...
...self-financers, people affiliated with Big Wall Street, the Old Money Crowd, the establishment, the party leadership... are being put on notice. Not a Democratic or Republican thing...but a gun, fired by the political regulars -- not the newer Obama turnout cohort but the regular off-year cohort -- at the heart of those who protect those in power, at bailouts, at spending.
Also: very easy alternate explanation: the economy sucks. States are really hurting. Governors are very unpopular. Their support is going to crater.
Matthew Cooper (10:09 pm)
Marc Ambinder 10:00 pm
...Why did Democrats strengthen their majorities in New Hampshire?
...How come Democrats are holding their own in Virginia State Legislative races?
...How come the New York City mayor's race is so close...even though the race has already been called...it's not going to be a Bloomberg blowout over Bill Thompson...
...What's happening in New York's 23rd CD? Why are GOPers suddenly nervous?
Marc Ambinder (9:24 p.m.)
Republicans are excited about Michigan's 20th State Senate district, where candidate Mike Nofs looks like he'll cruise comfortably to victory. This district was abandoned by a Democrat who left to run for Congress. Nofs and Griffin are both moderates.
Marc Ambinder 9:15 p.m.)
Democrats at very senior levels are worried about New Jersey. Jon Corzine isn't getting the spread he needs out of Camden County, Chris Christie has a good lead in Bergen County, (which Real Clear Politics's Mike Memoli points out is a county that Republicans need to win), and is leading in Union County. That said, a healthy chunk of Corzine's vote isn't in yet.
Marc Ambinder (9:06 p.m.)
Yes, independents are moving to the GOP. That's a big headline. Bad news for Dems, etc, etc. But. And this is important: these are conservative independents. Many disassociated with the GOP -- at least in terms of what they tell pollsters -- because of the GOP brand problems and because it's cool to be independent in parts of the country and in parts of states. Don't confuse "moderates" with "independents." Still, it seems clear that for people who call themselves independent, Republican messages wear better than Democrats.
Marc Ambinder (8:41 p.m.)
By reporting and estimates, the Republican gubernatorial ticket outspent the Democratic ticket in Virginia by about $8 million. This includes a large downstate Chamber of Commerce ad buy.
Marc Ambinder (8:09 p.m.)
If Jon Corzine wins re-election, he can thank women, who gave him a narrow advantage and who voted at higher proportions than men did. Note the split among moderates and independents; independents, self-described, clearly were more conservative than moderates, which says something about the electorate, rather than, I think, the environment.
Marc Ambinder (7:51 p.m.)
Member Obama's Nobel Prize? Conservatives chortled. But Bob McDonnell issued a sincere statement of congrats. The guy ran a good campaign.
Marc Ambinder (7:30 p.m.)
Marc Ambinder (6:10 p.m.)
A huge money gap between Democrats and Republicans (including a massive Chamber of Commerce ad buy downstate, NRA ads, RGA ads (later in the game)
Economic anxiety among older men and independents 45 years and older...