WASHINGTON – Republicans surged to victory in governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday, wresting control from Democrats in both states as independents who swept Barack Obama to a historic 2008 victory broke big for the GOP. It was a troubling sign for the president and his party heading into an important midterm election year.
Conservative Republican Bob McDonnell’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and moderate Republican Chris Christie’s ouster of unpopular New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was a double-barreled triumph for a party looking to rebuild after being booted from power in national elections in 2006 and 2008.
The outcomes were sure to feed discussion about the state of the electorate, the status of the diverse coalition that sent Obama to the White House and the limits of the president’s influence — on the party’s base of support and on moderate current lawmakers he needs to advance his legislative priorities.
His signature issue of health care reform was dealt a blow hours before polls closed when >>>