So what does the result out of Rhode Island mean?
I think this basically speaks for itself. The Republicans could have guarenteed themselves the loss of a senate seat tonight. They dodged that bullet. As these numbers show, I think Whitehouse, the ironically named Democratic candidate, still has the advantage. But it's going to be close.
The real question in looking at this race is which number is more important: the spread between Whitehouse and Chafee, which I don't think has ever been outside the margin of error but with Whitehouse almost always ahead, or that fact that Chafee, the incumbent, hasn't been able to get over 43% in any poll I've seen.
Here's Steve Clemons' take, in the context of the Bolton nomination.