Yesterday was not a good day for the left, but it wasn’t the sort of tanking the media is seemingly choosing to see it as. Democrats lost one very close gubernatorial election and lost another one that was pretty much a toss up in the first place. There’s no reasonable way to portray this as good news, but it’s far from the ‘humiliating’ loss it’s being portrayed as at the moment. These are fundamentally local elections, and while Republicans got a  couple of governors in, the largely Republican backed spending limit measures on the ballot in Maine and Washington went down hard. (For those of you playing along at home, that means Tim Eyman is weeping somewhere, so it can’t be that bad of a day.) 

At a national level, it’s even harder to accept this as a referendum on 10 months of the Obama administration. Dems easily defended a seat in California and, perhaps more tellingly picked up a House seat in New York that’s been held by Republicans for nearly 100 years. That last one is thanks mostly to prominent GOP members boosting an ultra-conservative who promised to take his marching orders from an acknowledged sociopath fundamentally turned off a lot of voters in a traditionally moderate Republican district. The loss of Dave Hoffman in New York and the way Tim Pawlenty is sprinting to the right in preparation for a 2012 presidential run suggests that centrists in the GOP are in trouble –  Charlie Crist, I’m looking at you. And if this keeps up, it’s Republicans, more than Democrats who run the distinct risk of finding themselves largely out of touch with a lot of American independents come mid-term elections next year.