I hope they’re just spinning — because if this is what they truly believe, they’re trapped in a dangerous bubble. What conservatives found most troubling about Scozzafava (in addition to the fact she never ran in a primary) was that she supported the stimulus and bailout. This is a reasonable litmus test for Republicans to have — just as it would be reasonable for Democratic activists to reject a Democrat who routinely voted for tax cuts for the wealthy.

Note, too, that the “culture war” issues were absent from all three of these races. If one thing united the GOP candidates, it was the moderate tone and focus on the economy. In Virginia, Bob McDonnell’s campaign slogan was “Bob for Jobs.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that…

Democrats can mock all they want (and find some comfort that the conservative candidate lost in NY-23 in the end). But they ignore public unrest over spending, jobs and taxes (particularly among those independents) at their peril.