Off Year Elections: Republicans Win Governorships in New Jersey & Virginia


Republican gubernatorial candidate...

Photo by AP Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, smiles during a rally in Richmond, Va. yesterday.


  • Analysis: Election lessons will shape ’10 campaign: What we learned from the off-year elections: The president’s influence is limited, independents rule, incumbents beware, issues trump ideology and, once more, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Also: Republicans can win — even if they lack a leader and their base is cracked. And this certainly isn’t the Democratic-friendly political environment of 2006 and 2008 when the party captured control of Congress and the White House. The first Election Day of Barack Obama’s presidency was a big night for Republicans, who recaptured governorships in the swing state of Virginia and the Democratic stronghold of New Jersey. Democrats won two races for vacant congressional seats, including one in upstate New York that had been long held by Republicans and that exposed a GOP divide…. – AP, 11-5-09
  • GOP Sweep: Big Governor Victories in Virginia, NJ: Republicans sweep governor races in Virginia, New Jersey _ troubling sign for Dems, Obama: Independents who swept Barack Obama to a historic 2008 victory broke big for Republicans on Tuesday as the GOP wrested political control from Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey, a troubling sign for the president and his party heading into an important midterm election year.
    Conservative Republican Bob McDonnell’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and moderate Republican Chris Christie’s ouster of unpopular New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was a double-barreled triumph for a party looking to rebuild after being booted from power in national elections in 2006 and 2008…. – AP, 11-3-09
  • Races an early test of Obama influence: President Barack Obama’s political standing a year after his election is being tested as voters cast ballots in Virginia and New Jersey, two states he’s worked hard to keep in Democratic hands. A handful of congressional and mayoral races and a same-sex union initative also are among the featured face-offs this Election Day.
    Obama has made a number of forays to neighboring Virginia and northeast to New Jersey as he has sought to ensure that Democrats win governor’s races and pick up a GOP-held congressional seat in upstate New York. In doing so, Obama raised the stakes of a low-enthusiasm off-year election season — and risked political embarrassment if any lost…. – Boston Herald, 11-3-09
  • Election 2009: Test of Obama clout in NJ, Virginia: President Barack Obama’s political clout was on the line Tuesday as Virginia and New Jersey chose governors in contests that could serve as warning signs for Democrats about the public’s mood heading into an important midterm election year…. – AP, 11-3-09
  • 2 hopefuls duel in upstate NY after surprise turn: With the Republican out of the race and unions lining up behind their candidate, national Democrats on Monday used a high-profile campaigner and ramped up get-out-the-vote efforts to try to grab a congressional seat in a district held for decades by the GOP. On the other side, a splintered Republican Party brought in its own big names to try to salve over wounds opened by a bruising special election campaign that has seen a maverick third-party conservative candidate outgun the hand-picked Republican…. – AP, 11-2-09
  • Obama says NJ governor is key to his own agenda: In a final campaign swing on behalf of the only governor seeking re-election this fall, President Barack Obama on Sunday pitched Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine’s bid as a key component for the White House to make good on its political promises. “He’s one of the best partners I have in the White House. We work together,” Obama said. “We know our work is far from over.” Obama drew 6,500 people at a rally in Camden and another 11,000 later in Newark, according to White House estimates. He urged supporters to work hard to give Corzine another term in office so he can work with Washington to help repair a brittle economy. A Corzine loss would be seen as a political embarrassment for the White House…. – AP, 11-1-09


  • Julian E. Zelizer “Are Republicans too giddy?”: Republicans have been downright giddy following the off-year elections in Virginia and New Jersey. In a swing state and a blue state, Republicans pulled off significant victories with Chris Christie’s defeat of Gov. John Corzine and Robert McDonnell defeating Creigh Deeds.
    Just two days after the election, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who had boasted of the results as evidence of a “Republican Renaissance,” issued a stern warning to his colleagues. Steele said that his message for the 2010 midterm elections was that Republicans should remain loyal to the party principles, or “we’ll come after you.”
    Republicans certainly can take some comfort in this election. It is clear that some of the excitement about the Democratic Party has faded since the beginning of 2009. The so-called jobless recovery, with unemployment now at 10.2 percent, is not sitting well with many Americans.
    But Republicans should be cautious. Both political parties have a history of over-reading election results and seeing mandates where none exist. The leaders of each party have often thought that the electorate sent a clear message endorsing a new direction in public policy only to learn that voters were relatively comfortable with the status quo….
    Rather than misread the message of the elections, Republicans must turn to the difficult job of rebuilding their party by finding a new generation of leaders and ideas, while broadening rather than narrowing their reach. If they don’t, their response will leave their ranks in even worse shape than before. CNN, 11-10-09
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