Last night saw a rash of elections breaking out over various parts of the US. And, for the most part, it was not good news for George W Bush. Not that it was necessarily disastrous news for him either.
Democrats took the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia - the latter being one of the key 'red' states that supported Bush in 2004. In California, Republican Governor Schwartzenegger lost all of the four referendum proposals he had thrown his weight behind.
Here in New York City, however, the Republican Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, was re-elected with a massive 20-point majority. A reason for Bush to be cheerful?
Not at all. For it is a dangerous thing to view electoral success in the US through the prism of British political thinking. Our two systems are polls apart, despite some superficial similarities. The two main political parties here are extraordinarily wide tents. Bloomberg flies the Republican flag of convenience, but his appeal is totally Democratic. To take one example: on the issue of gay marriage, Bloomberg and his rival, Fernando Ferrer, were fighting over which one was most likely to get it legalised. Hardly the red-state-blue-state culture war we hear so much about.
Some of the most heavily Bush-supporting southern states have long had local Democratic leadership. While ultra-liberal Massachusetts has a Republican governor.
Politics in the US is extremely local, and Democrats should be wary of seeing last night's results as a harbinger of good times to come at a national level. That said, they provide precious few crumbs of comfort for an increasingly embattled White House.