Republicans want to cast yesterday's election as a sign that the fortunes of the Democrats have changed, as proof they've over-reached.
I'm not so confident of that interpretation.
Virginia Republicans may have run as conservatives, but they did so on state issues. NJ's Christie, a more moderate Republican, probably won on the "I'm not Corzine" platform, but the issues there were also state issues. If this translates to national politics, it does so with caveats and modifications.
The only national-level race was New York's 23rd Congressional distict where a historically Republican district elected a Democrat.
Now, there were mitigating circumstances. Three-way races are always difficult, and the GOP helpfully ran a "Republican" who was to the left of the Democratic candidate — positioning the Dem as the "moderate" candidate that may appeal to swing voters.
But with everything going on in the country right now, the good folks of NY-23 decided to send another Democrat to Washington. If it's not a clear vindication of the Dems, it's certainly not good news for the GOP.
I frankly don't think it means all that much, but I don't want Republicans to look at the state races in Virginia and New Jersey and decide the 2010 elections are a slam dunk.