The indispensable blog The Fix has a few ideas.
1. Democrats here got swept up in the wave election
2. Upstate Republicans and independents swung back to the G.O.P.
3. Catholic voters swung back to the G.O.P.
While numbers two and three are just plain fact–borne out by exit polling data–many Democratic strategists are offering the first explanation for why they lost more seats than any other state in the country.
Heading into the election, most Democrats I spoke with thought that the Eric Massa seat was done after the congressman resigned in disgrace, and that John Hall was as good as gone as well. After that, everything was a toss-up–although Democrats were confident that Mike Arcuri, Dan Maffei, Tim Bishop and Scott Murphy were safe. And I didn’t talk to anyone in either party who had Michael McMahon on their radar. The antipathy, however, towards Washington and towards Nancy Pelosi and President Obama was too much for any congressman in an even quasi-marginal district.
Part of the evidence that antipathy towards Pelosi was the reason for the G.O.P.’s big night is that the rest of the ticket swept statewide races. And Andrew Cuomo, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand won in many counties upstate, although their numbers were padded by a big margin in the city.