"Republicans swept to victory in the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races Tuesday, scoring a pair of decisive wins in states that voted for President Obama a year ago.
The Democrats were able to prevent a shut-out, though, pulling out a narrow victory in a closely watched congressional election in upstate New York. Democrat Bill Owens beat Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in that race.
The Republican victories nevertheless marked a potential turnaround after two consecutive cycles of midterm losses. In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie beat out Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, even though Obama campaigned heavily for the incumbent in the closing days of the race and the state has not elected a Republican governor since 1993.
In Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell beat Democrat Creigh Deeds by a huge margin, heading up a successful GOP ticket. McDonnell's victory ends eight years of Democratic control of the governorship.
The victories could spell trouble for Democrats' legislative agenda in Washington and stand as harbingers of GOP gains in the 2010 midterm elections. Republicans claimed the races Tuesday served as a collective rebuke of Democrats' policies on Capitol Hill and at the White House."
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