On Last Night’s Elections

Yesterday was, in some parts of the country, Election Day.

I’ve sat down to read about elections in Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and Maine. I’ve not even had my coffee yet. It’s still brewing.

The Democrats were crushed at all levels of state government in the Old Dominion. The Republican candidate for governor pulled it out in New Jersey. The bizarre 3-way race in New York (which I wrote about a few days ago) went to the Democratic candidate. The marriage equality amendment in Maine failed.

Of the first three, I’ve found some bipartisan analysis about what this means for the 2010 midterms.

First, Erick Erickson of Red State: “the GOP now must recognize it will either lose without conservatives or will win with conservatives.” Erickson goes on to explain that the Republicans need their conservative base to get their candidates elected, only the base doesn’t want candidates who pay lip-service to conservative ideology.

Then, Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos: “Tonight proved conclusively that we’re not going to turn out just because you have a (D) next to your name, or because Obama tells us to. We’ll turn out if we feel it’s worth our time and effort to vote, and we’ll work hard to make sure others turn out if you inspire us with bold and decisive action.” Moulitsas goes on to explain that Democrats want candidates who reflect their ideology, and the progressive base of the party won’t automatically vote for a candidate that doesn’t.

Same analysis, from different sides of the political divide, for different and opposing ideologies.

The question is, where does this leave the middle? And who, if both sides go to the ends, is most appealling to the middle?

That’s the question for 2010.

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