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An Election for GOP Moderates

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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.