Chin Shot

The President and his party took it on the chin last night, losing the Governor's seats in Virginia and New Jersey, and, to the will of the people on Gay Marriage in Maine. Democrats have never been much impressed with the will of the peeps - last night did little to alter their outlook.
Gay marriage has lost in every state in which it has been put to a popular vote – most recently in California last year.
The only bright spot for the Democrats came in New York's 23rd, where the late resignation of the GOP nominee from the race proved too big a hurdle for the independent conservative,  quirky unknown who didn't live in the district that he was, to get over.
The struggle was viewed as a proxy for a national struggle between activists arguing the GOP slipped by betraying conservative values and officials warning a rightward move would further alienate an increasingly independent-minded electorate. The split resulted in the election of Bill Owens -- the first Democratic congressman from that region since the late 1800s.
As they do the honest analysis in the backrooms of power, they will chock this up to the GOP shooting itself in the foot as part of its growing pains over how to move forward ideologically. Consider it a win for Newt.
Results in the 23rd also represent a glitch in the skyrocketing influence of Sarah Palin, and a more important stumble for the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, who broke party protocol by supporting Doug Hoffman. Party protocol is important for someone who is running for president. He is, Sarah isn't.