It was also a bad night for conservatives. Does this mean it was a good night for the establishment?
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If you can divine a national trend from a runoff election in Mississippi, be our guest. But rather than pondering the motives of 3,188 Mississippi voters who made the difference in a bitter, hyper-local election, there’s a more useful consideration today. What’s at stake nationally this year is control of the U.S. Senate, and Republican chances of taking the majority went up significantly Tuesday night.

Not only will Democrats be denied the opportunity to rummage through Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s past and present statements in a bid to make him the Rep. Todd Akin of 2014, but Colorado Republicans lined up behind a very electable ticket. Colorado Democrats had hoped to ruin the chances of Rep. Cory Gardner, the GOP Senate challenger who is threatening incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, by associating Gardner with former Rep. Tom Tancredo. Democrats spent money to bolster the gubernatorial bid of Tancredo, an immigration hardliner, whose policies and rhetoric would have posed constant challenges to Gardner as Democrats tarred them with the same brush. Instead, Colorado Republicans picked the more temperate former Rep. Bob Beauprez to take on Gov. John Hickenlooper. A flawed gubernatorial candidate hurt GOP Senate chances in Colorado in 2010, but this time the red team will have a clear lane to challenge a very vulnerable incumbent. Down in Florida, a Republican deemed “too radical” handily won a special House election to replace a scandal-soaked member booted after a drug bust. Democrats hardly tried to stop the rise of Rep.-elect Curt Clawson. Meanwhile, other potentially damaging primary contests in other states all flopped the right way for the GOP to have the advantage in November.

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