G.O.P. Claims Victory in Virginia and New Jersey

November 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Republicans are celebrating victories in two key races Wednesday morning. Voters in New Jersey and Virginia chose the G.O.P. candidate as their next governor. President Obama had campaigned for the democrats in both those races. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Republicans will be moving into the Governor's office in both took the top office in New Jersey and Virginia.

Bob McDonnell beat Creigh Deeds in Virginia. Chris Christie ousted incumbent John Corzine in New Jersey.

"We know the challenges we face and over the next four years, we're going to have our work cut out for us," said New Jersey Governor Elect Chris Christie (R).

Virginia and New Jersey helped the President take the White House last year. The G.O.P. said the defeat of Democratic candidates is a referendum on Mr. Obama. But exit polls suggest otherwise.

In Virginia and New Jersey, about half of voters approved of the president's handling of his job and most said he was not a factor in their votes. The fault line was the weak economy, according to ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

"Here's what's got to be worrisome to the White House: What the voters were saying about the economy. 89% of the voters in New Jersey worried about the economy, 85% in Virginia. That is just a primal scream from the voters. "

Upstate New York's 23rd Congressional district race upended the G.O.P.'s claim that voters are calling out for a more conservative agenda. Democrat Bill Owens beat Conservative Party Candidate Doug Hoffman, after the Republican Party candidate dropped out, and backed her Democratic rival.

Bill Owens, (D) Congressman Elect, 23rd District: "They put aside partisanship and declared that they're ready to move forward not backward."

Democrats insist the real referendum will come next year, in the 2010 mid- term congressional elections.

In Maine, the state's same sex marriage law was overturned. It's the first time voters rejected a gay marriage law passed by a legislator.

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