Changing Tides

GOP Sweeps Virginia, New Jersey

The Republicans won big in Tuesday’s elections: Republican Bob McDonnell beat out Democrat R. Creigh Deeds for governor of Virginia, while New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine lost out to Republican Chris Christie despite President Obama's efforts to campaign for both Deeds and Corzine. Democrats appeared to have trouble turning out their bases in those states, while independents who went Democrat during last year's presidential elections defected en masse—at almost a two-to-one margin—to the GOP in both states, a trend that doesn't bode well for Democrats up for reelection in 2010. There were some bright spots for the Democrats, though: California Lt. Governor John Garamendi, a Democrat, won a special election to a vacant congressional seat; and Democrat Bill Owens unseated a GOP-held but vacant seat in a closely watched race in New York's 23rd District. On the state-specific issues side of things, in Maine, voters rejected gay marriage, while Ohio citizens approved casinos.