I’ve been feeling sick and wasn’t up for waiting for the NY-23 returns. But now that we’re in we know that the CA-10 vacancy created by Ellen Tauscher becoming an Undersecretary of State has resulted in a moderate Democrat being replaced by a progressive Democratic, and the NY-23 vacancy created by John McHugh becoming Secretary of the Army has resulted in a moderate Republican being replaced by a moderate Democrat. This is consistent with national surveys which show President Obama to be more popular than congressional Democrats who are, in turn, more popular than congressional Republicans.
Probably not huge policy implications of this, but it’s a modest shift to the left of the balance of power in the House. Nancy Pelosi now has an easier time rounding up 218 votes for a health care bill, for example, and each and every Blue Dog has his or her individual leverage over the process reduced.