1. A huge congratulation to the Republicans of Virginia for their huge wins.
2. Congratulations as well to Governor Elect Christie of New Jersey.
3. State elections are about state issues. The current issue in Virginia is the economy. McDonnell had a more positive message than Deeds. I think this was a significant factor in his win. Had Obama's administration economic policies been better, Obama and Deeds would have done better. Personality only go so far in politics, especially once you have to govern.
4. The NY-23 election was also about local issues. The take home lesson for conservatives and the GOP is that both have to work together to win. A third party candidate is not viable from the outside. But threats of a third party run may be preempted by cooperation between the GOP and conservatives. Had Hoffman won in NY-23, there would have been a greater impetus to field third party candidates elsewhere in NY in 2010 (given the established nature of the Conservative Party in NY) and maybe elsewhere nationally as well.
5. I think #4 is also significant regarding the Arctic Fox Palin. She would be more effective to shape the direction of the GOP better than building a third party movement.