Even without a definitive outcome in the New Jersey governor's race, several early indications appear to bode ill for President Barack Obama's efforts to head off serious GOP inroads in this year's elections.
While the victory of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell in Virginia was widely expected, his margin of victory – one of the largest ever in the state's modern electoral history – was extraordinary. Late Tuesday, McDonnell had been declared the winner and was leading by a 20-point margin over Democrat Creigh Deeds, 60 percent to 40 percent.
The Virginia GOP also won the lieutenant governor and attorney general elections, marking only the second time in history that the GOP swept the Old Dominion's top three offices.
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In upstate New York District 23, conservative candidate Doug Hoffman appears to be well positioned to ride his accelerating momentum in the polls.
Wall Street Journal commentator and author John Fund tells Newsmax: "Bill Clinton said the result in NY-23 would be a referendum on Obama. There is a reason Obama went in over and over in Virginia and New Jersey. He was worried what this would do to spook Blue Dog Democrats on healthcare ...he was right to be worried."
The big question mark remains the outcome of the gubernatorial contest in New Jersey.
A defeat there would be a body blow for Democrats, and some pundits have even speculated it could bring to a dead halt the push for public-option healthcare, due to legislators' concerns over an apparent backlash from voters.
An AP exit poll showed the New Jersey contest between incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine and GOP challenger Chris Christie too close to call. Late Tuesday, Christie was leading by about 51 to 42 percent, with Independent Chris Daggett polling just 5 percent.
Clearly, the most remarkable number from New Jersey is the minuscule tally for Daggett – far below the 12 to 20 percent some polls expected him to receive. The key question that could determine the outcome: Did voters who abandoned Daggett break for Corzine or Christie?
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