An Election for GOP Moderates

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • David Gray Senior Fellow, New America Foundation

Republican moderates have to cheer last evening's electoral results in Virginia, New Jersey and New York. In Virginia, Bob McDonnell took the state house by campaigning as a moderate Republican, toning down his conservative positions on social issues and focusing on pragmatic issues, like jobs, rather than ideological ones.

In New Jersey, Senator-elect Christie is the kind of moderate Republican that the northeast used to produce and could herald the return of the party in a region where Joe Lieberman is de facto becoming the leader of the opposition to the Obama Administration.

In New York state, the over-reach of the right wing of the GOP rebelling against a centrist backfired and led to the election of a Democrat in New York's 23rd congressional District. This result will be reversed next November, but its a warning to the party to maintain its openness to moderates. Moderates like Michael Bloomberg, the newly reelected mayor of New York City, who could look great atop a ticket paired with a southern conservative running mate in 2012.