The numbers are in, now it's time to make sense of them. Nate Silver breaks down last night's election results:
- Don’t blame Obama; Creigh Deeds and Jon Corzine were probably just weak candidates. In New Jersey, 57% of voters approved of Obama, but 27% of those supporters voted Republican anyway. In Virginia 20% of those who approved of Obama voted GOP.
Democrats had turnout problems in Virginia; the voters who came out last night supported McCain 51-43 in 2008, a mirror image of that year's margin.
- Bill Owens’ win is “a reminder that all politics is local (sometimes).” Doug Hoffman’s support mostly came from outside the district, but he was too conservative for the center-right NY-23.
- Gay marriage loses in Maine, thanks to an urban-rural divide, a factor Silver says should be considered in addition to a state's religiosity. The enthusiasm gap is closing on the issue, but it's still getting the right out of the house and to the polls.
- Mike Bloomberg’s win was really narrow, despite voters approving of his performance 70-29. Why? Because 58% said his decision to extend his term limit influenced their vote.