What else is worth saying?
1. It's a good night for Republicans. Going into a redistricting cycle, I'd rather have the governors of NJ and VA than a single seat in NY. Winning is certainly better than losing.
2. There will, no doubt, be all sorts of consequences for the people of New Jersey and Virginia, Maine and Washington, and Atlanta, Detroit, New York, and the other jurisdictions that had elections today. There will not be any significant consequences outside of that, nor is there any great meaning to be figured out from the returns.
3. I've been going back and forth a bit with Seth Masket about the consequences of NY-23. Here's what he said tonight. I agree with just about all of it, but when Seth says:
So now what [conservatives have] done is proven the importance of ideological positioning -- if you nominate too extreme a candidate, you lose the election. So the folks in the Republican Party who sabotaged Scozzofava and rallied around Hoffman now look silly and more than a tad disloyal. They cost their party a seat in Congress.I'm very skeptical about that. To outsiders, sure, the conservatives "look silly and more than a tad disloyal." But I really don't think that's how most Republicans are going to interpret NY-23. I think they are going to consider the formal party officials of NY-23 the villains of the piece. For them, this will be the story of a near-outrage that was foiled by a determined group of conservatives, and despite all disadvantages the conservative candidate nearly won. From that point of view, it was the party officials of NY-23 who were the disloyal ones, and it was their mistake in nominating an unacceptable candidate that cost Republicans this seat.
I think most Republican elites will either believe that version of events, or act as if they believe it.
Anyway, if Seth is right, then tonight's Democratic victory in NY-23 will have real consequences. If I'm right, it won't. The thing to look for (I think Seth would agree) is whether GOP elites react by actively opposing the Beck/Rush/Palin forces in upcoming primaries. Another thing to look for is how recruiting goes for the Republicans (a lot of '10 recruiting is already done, but not all of it), but here the GOP wins in VA and NJ will probably help some; at any rate, it's a lot harder to measure the effect on recruiting because there are multiple things going on. And a third thing to look at is how GOP candidates next year treat the Palinite, tea party wing of the party.
4. I mentioned it above, but it bears repeating: the one real consequence for 2010 from tonight is that VA and NJ should help Republicans in their efforts to recruit strong candidates.
And don't forget -- campaigning is well under way for 2010, especially in those states that have early primaries. It's an election year!