I need to add something important to my rundown for NRO yesterday on the Republicans’ substantial losses in gubernatorial and legislative elections this year: there were some notable conservative victories at the state level. Not only were successful conservative governors elected or re-elected in a number of states (admittedly, mostly in the South), but in a few places, Texas among them, state legislatures actually experienced a net conservative gain.
Perhaps the most notable victory — for its closeness, its contrariness, and its potential national significance — was Tim Pawlenty’s hard-fought victory in a re-election bid for Minnesota governor. At a time when the Midwest in particular was clearly shifting blue, Pawlenty effective defended his budget decisions and other policies against well-crafted, well-financed, and well-timed attacks by Democratic candidate and Attorney Gen. Mike Hatch. You can read more about the race here.