It is particularly significant that both races were for the governor's mansion. Governors historically have been the farm team from which presidential candidates come, so it essential to the national party's survival to keep winning these state races.
For Team Obama, the only consolation last night was the Democratic win in NY-23. This race was sui generis, and therefore little can be extrapolated from it with any certainty. However, it shows that conservatives will not be marginalized in the candidate selection process. And it shows that it is important for the GOP to cure its dysfunction say, a little before the last week of the general election. The shock is that poor Mr. Hoffman was able to do as well as he did.
But NY-23 is no mandate for Obama or Obamacare. It is, however, a warning to Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich.