Patrick Skarr, Account Supervisor

Today is one of my favorite days of the year – Election Day! While in the Land of Lincoln, the voters aren’t being asked to weigh in, the decisions of voters elsewhere will set the tone and environment for our upcoming election.

Most importantly, elections and incumbent office holders will take note of today’s winners and losers, recalibrate their messages and ahem – adjust their voting switches on important issues ahead.

Here are some things to keep in mind while taking in tonight’s election results:

How much crow can the Tea Party eat? Earlier this year the Republicans announced with fanfare that they were as a party, learning from the lessons of 2012, and working to build an inclusive party. It appears they’ve managed to lock themselves out of the Commonwealth of Virginia statewide for the first time since the Nixon administration. Who ends up wearing the jacket will affect donors, the party faithful who want to win and not just be principled candidates, and grassroots activists in races across the nation.  The looming shutout demonstrates that Republicans need to adjust the game plan quickly, or 2014 is going to be a tough cycle.

What does Michael Bloomberg do next? While an existential question not directly related to the outcome of today’s vote count, the predicted winner, Bill de Blasio, has essentially announced the reversal of all things Bloomberg. One doesn’t build a business empire, spend a small fortune running for office and extending term limits to see a legacy undone. This could be the wildcard that hasn’t really transcended into media coverage – yet.

Collision course. Chris Christie has dusted off George W. Bush’s playbook to establish himself as the frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination 2016. Winning isn’t enough, winning big is what matters tonight. His crafty ads – including my favorite of the cycle with Shaq – have had a long game in mind and building his bona fides as a fixer, not a politician. He’s dusted off the “c-word,” compromise, and surely his victory speech will invoke Reagan-esque platitudes about the need to do things together.  The margin of victory tonight will provide Christie with momentum to collide with the elements of the Republican Party that view governance as a nuisance.

And finally in the item of the night…

In case you missed it. There is a quixotic ballot initiative underway in rural Colorado counties tonight involving secession from the “liberal” rest of the state. At the risk of avoiding hyperbole and unworthy extrapolations, just how hot the “rural” backlash is will be an early indicator for the rural vote in states with Senate elections next cycle. We are talking about a “backlash” in Colorado which has moved solidly blue.