It’s been a year since Americans have gone to the polls, but as they do on Tuesday President Barack Obama may be less excited than he was last year, particularly in Virginia and New Jersey where his fellow Democrats are facing trouble.
Republicans are hoping to capture the governors’ mansions in those two states to rebuild some momentum after being trounced by Democrats last year. They also are trying to make it a referendum against Obama’s agenda to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system and financial regulatory structure as well as his plans to address climate change.
In Virginia where Obama won narrowly in 2008, Republican Bob McDonnell has built a sizable lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds while in traditionally Democratic-leaning New Jersey Republican Chris Christie is neck and neck with Democratic incumbent Governor Jon Corzine.
Obama has campaigned for both of his fellow Democrats but that may not be enough for them to win.
While Republicans are salivating at their prospects in those two races, Democrats are eyeing a congressional race in upstate New York to replace a Republican lawmaker who became Obama’s Army secretary. Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman was barely ahead of Democrat Bill Owens in the traditionally Republican district.