'09 Elections, the GOP, and Obama
Conservative Party congressional candidate Doug Hoffman waits to vote at the town hall in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. (AP)

Conservative Party congressional candidate Doug Hoffman waits to vote at the town hall in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. (AP)

It was a “shot across the bow” Election Day for both parties yesterday. Different versions of a wake-up call.

For Democrats, two big losses in governors’ races in Virginia and New Jersey. No Obama effect to save the day. Maybe a damper on the Obama agenda.

For the GOP, big victories in those states, but a high-profile defeat for hard-right conservatives in an upstate New York district that has gone Republican since 1872. The Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Tea Party candidate down in flames, and the GOP civil war still on.

This hour, On Point: The ’09 elections — and the shots across the bow.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Charles Mahtesian, national politics editor at Politico.  He’s been following the 2009 races closely and reported this week on conservatives gearing up to challenge GOP candidates. He joins us from Washington.

Ross Douthat, op-ed columnist for The New York Times and co-author of “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.” He writes in his latest column that third-party candidates injected substance into this year’s races.  He joins us from Washington.

Thomas Edsall, political editor of The Huffington Post and a professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. A political reporter at The Washington Post from 1981 to 2006, he’s author of “Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power.”  He joins us from New York.

Mickey Edwards, former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma and member of the House Republican leadership. He’s now a lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and author of “Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost–And How It Can Find Its Way Back.”  He joins us from Newark, New Jersey.

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