While I think you can't simply overlook the Republican wins in New Jersey and Virginia, I don't think you can blow it up to say that it is directly related to the president's popularity ["Democrats: Elections Not a Referendum on Obama," usnews.com]. It might have had some affect on the results but mainly this election was based on local issues and the desire for a balance between federal and local government, which I think is a good thing. The Democratic Party has a lot of work to do before the 2010 elections, which will ride on whether the economy improves and if they can get some sort of healthcare reform to pass. The NY-23 elections showed that the conservatives are rigidly divided by social issues and that leaves a great opportunity for Obama to move more toward the center and take these moderate votes.
Comment by Jessica M. of MA
What this election appears to say in a loud and clear voice is that many voters are sick to death of tax and spend or even spend, spend, and spend. How this impacts a given elected official or a party purely depends on where they and their party stand on those issues.
Comment by Dwight E. Howell of TN
This [New Jersey] election is a referendum on [Jon] Corzine, the most inept, unresponsive governor the state has had in a long time. The Dems would've been smarter to replace him with someone else. Anyone should be a shoe-in compared to Corzine. Let the Republicans go on thinking that these elections are indicative of some kind of a sea change with respect to Obama. It's delusional to think that after eight years of Bush's incompetence with a complicit Republican-controlled Congress for six of those years that people are going to swing back to that party anytime soon.
Comment by Mike of NJ
Virginia and New Jersey are non-issues. The voters in those states did what they have done for decades: They voted in a party opposite of the president. The real story is the meltdown of the GOP. The split is becoming obvious; the moderate Republicans versus the intolerant conservatives. Look at New York 23 as an indicator of things to come. Division and revenge against each other will prevent them from achieving their various agendas. The hard right does not have a chance; they are too indoctrinated in hate and division. The moderate Republicans cannot beat the Democrats without the fringe right's numbers (votes). While the GOP falls victim to its own philosophy, "win by dividing," the Democrats will grow in strength and dominate the political scene for years to come. They can still attract the moderate and independent thinkers out there who will be disgusted with the hard right and realize a vote for a neutered Republican Party is futile.
Comment by Davide of AZ