WASHINGTON (CNN) – Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said Tuesday that the race in New York's 23rd congressional district is evidence that the Republican Party is "at war with themselves."
"The Republican Party is a little bit at war with themselves, aren't they," the Maryland Democrat told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I mean, they've got the right wing of their party and they've got the extreme right wing of their party and you've seen them turn on each other time and again as they figure out what they want to do as a party, let alone what sort of direction they want to lead our country in."
But Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said that particular race – where the local GOP appointed the nominee instead of conducting a primary – should be a lesson to Republican Party leaders around the country to hold elections.
Barbour, a Republican, reiterated that he does not see Tuesday's election results as a referendum on President Obama, but rather as a reflection of how voters feel about his policies. He said that if the Democratic candidates lose or win the gubernatorial races in New Jersey or Virginia by a small margin, that it will "help Republicans next year, because they're going to be really good for candidate recruiting and they're going to be a real springboard for the 2010 elections."
"A win is a win, except if you're trying to assess what effect is the administration and its policies having on Democratic candidates," Barbour said.