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If you're looking for some serious election-night analysis, head over to Chris Cillizza's spot. The flash summary is that the Republican won in Virginia and New Jersey, and the Democrat won -- for the first time since the 19th Century -- in New York.

If you're looking for national trends, Virginia and New York are your best bets. In Virginia, a relatively conservative state that nevertheless backed Obama in 2008 went for the Republican candidate for governor. In New York, a legendarily Republican district that had seen conservative insurgents force a moderate Republican out of the race went for the Democrat.

So pick your interpretation: Does Virginia show that Democrats will be swept out of office? Does New York show that a conservative crack-up is going to alienate moderates and independents and give Democrats pick-up opportunities they never dreamed of? Or do these elections simply show the outcomes of trends, candidates, and conditions in two states and one district? You can guess where I come down.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber.

By Ezra Klein  |  November 4, 2009; 8:19 AM ET
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Next: Primary challenges



Please don't give any attention to Cillizza. He just regurgitates stupid inside the beltway "wisdom" and never actually brings anything to the further understanding of politics. He represents everything that is wrong with the washington post's current reporting.

These elections mean nothing for next year and the media should stop hyperventilating.

Deeds was a crappy candidate. The only thing today that matters is that Maine sadly rejected equal marriage.

Posted by: cbcpapa | November 4, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm waiting on Ezra's obligatory "these elections won't alter the healthcare reform calculus one iota" post, to be followed by yet another "Don't pay attention to anything Reid or Lieberman or Lincoln says because a half-loaf bill will pass by Christmas and liberals will be grateful and we'll all toast the crap sandwich with egg nog!"

Posted by: scarlota | November 4, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Regarding any interpretation about trends or referenda, I prefer to recall the famous saying of Tip O'Neil: "all politics is local."

Posted by: billkarwin | November 4, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell won 4 of the six Democrat CDs in Virginia by 55% or more (2,5,9,11). Does anyone believe these members are not carefully reexamining their support for the health care bill? Personally, I hope all four of them vote streight down the line with Pelosi; but at least 2 of them are too smart for that and may survive 2010 by jumping ship on health care and cap & tax. One of the these two can be taken care of in redistricting and we'll just have to live with the other.

Posted by: WoodbridgeVa1 | November 4, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Agreedm WiidvrudfeVA1. I think we're seeing the most stunning realignment of political fortunes since the dual victories of Warner and McGreevey back in 2001 served as a signal of national repudiation of the Bush administration.

Posted by: constans | November 4, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Please Ezra, Cillizza is a villager hack. Just look at the smoking jacket web fiasco that he put together with Milbank. Don't feature his beltway bullsh*t. You are taking some real crap over at FDL and other places. Maybe its time to confront these (what I think of as somewhat unfair) characterizations and clarify your positions wrt Holy Joe and HCR in general. I personally would like to see progressives not eat their own for ideological purity's sake and be a bit more united in the fight for HCR.

Posted by: srw3 | November 4, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

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