Yes, local issues played a role in Democrat Kathy Hochul's upset win in the Buffalo-area congressional race last night, but Republicans would be foolish to take solace in that. The results deliver a clear message: "The backlash against Tea Party governance is real," writes Steve Kornacki at Salon. Hochul used the best example of that governance—the GOP plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system—to win a district no Democrat had any business winning.
"The fact that they could win in a solidly Republican district just a few months after their worst defeats in decades has got to be an enormous boost for Democrats," writes Kornacki. They'd need another two dozen similar victories to retake the House, no easy feat. But the victory is "a reminder to everyone that, just like it changed dramatically after Obama’s win 2008, the political climate has again shifted in the wake of the GOP’s 2010 landslide. Suddenly, swing voters have something else to vote against besides President Obama." For more on Hochul's upset victory, click here. (Read more Jane Corwin stories.)