Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Republicans have scored victories in two key US elections for governor

Republicans have scored victories in two key US elections for governor, a year after Barack Obama was voted in as president.

In Virginia, Republican candidate Bob McDonnell won by a comfortable margin, while another, Chris Christie, ousted the Democrat governor in New Jersey.

In New York, independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg narrowly won a third term over Democrat challenger Bill Thompson.

Congressional seats are also up for grabs in New York and California.

While local issues have been paramount in these races, analysts say a win could boost party morale ahead of 2010 mid-term ballots.

Meanwhile in Maine, voters in a referendum rejected a same-sex marriage law passed by state lawmakers earlier this year.

The law was put on hold when conservatives launched a petition to repeal it in a referendum.'Sting' for Democrats In New Jersey, the incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine had fought a bitter campaign against his Republican rival Chris Christie, not only attacking him over his ties to former President George W Bush and his views on abortion and healthcare, but also poking fun at his weight.

With most of the votes counted, Mr Christie was ahead with about 50% of the vote when Mr Corzine conceded defeat. He pledged to work with Mr Christie to ensure a smooth transition.

Correspondents say a defeat in New Jersey is a sting for the Democrats, especially after Mr Obama threw his weight behind Governor Corzine, repeatedly travelling to New Jersey to back the former Goldman Sachs chief executive on the campaign trail.
However, President Obama's former campaign manager, David Plouffe, warned against reading too much into Tuesday's contests.

"The results of these elections tend to be over-read," he told the NBC network's Today programme. "These are local races. There's 18,000 lifetimes between now and next November."

Republican split In Virginia, Democratic party candidate Creigh Deeds phoned Mr McDonnell, a former attorney general, to congratulate him. With about 80% of votes counted, the Republican was leading with about 60%.

Only last year President Obama became the first Democratic candidate to carry the state since 1964, although its last two governors have been democrats.
But independent voters who supported the president in the 2008 election switched their support to the Republican party candidate in this race.

In other results:

• Democrat Bill Owens won the House of Representatives seat for New York state's 23rd congressional district, defeating Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
• In New York city, independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg narrowly secured a third term. With 96% of votes in, Mr Bloomberg was ahead of Democratic challenger Bill Thompson by 50.5% to 46.2%.
• California Lt Gov John Garamendi looked on course to win a special election to a Northern California congressional seat, keeping the district in Democratic hands. He was leading his nearest rival, Republican David Harmer, by 57% to 38%.
• In Atlanta, councillor Mary Norwood and Georgia Senator Kasim Reed were headed for a December run-off for the post of mayor after neither received more than half the votes cast.

Mayoral elections are also being held in Houston, Boston, Detroit and Pittsburgh.
Whatever the results of Tuesday's elections, they will be pored over by the party faithful for clues as to how their candidates may fare in the crucial 2010 mid-term elections, correspondents say.

Next year, the entire House of Representatives, about a third of the Senate and two-thirds of governors' posts will be up for grabs.

No comments :

Post a Comment