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4 Nov, 2009 04:56

Republicans lead in off-year Tuesday elections

In Tuesday’s U.S. elections, Atlanta was also choosing a new mayor while New Jersey and Virginia voted for governors - with a surprise victory for Republican candidates in both states.

And with Barack Obama trying hard to support Democratic campaigns across America, the outcome of the elections is being widely regarded as a measure of the President’s popularity one year into his term.

The day is called a mini version of the Super Tuesday, when all of the candidates’ campaigning comes to a head.

In the 35th Congressional District in the state of Virginia, the governor's race between the Republican candidate, Bob McDonnell, and the Democratic candidate, Craig Deeds, is being closely watched.

In this one district, if Deeds has a problem getting enough votes, this can also signal a problem for President Obama, since the district is usually heavily Democratic.

This meant that the Democratic candidate relied on Barack Obama to boost him in the polls in which he was trailing.

The case is similar, also, to the Democratic governor of New Jersey who is seeking re-election. But if this doesn’t work, some suggest this may be a sign that the President isn’t as popular as he once was.

Throughout the day, the Republican candidate in Virginia, Bob McDonnel, had a steady and strong lead, the case, too, for New Jersey Republican Chris Christie.

But some say that not much should be read into such results.

"Governor's races are pretty localized. They tend to focus on issues in the state,”
Professor Dennis Johnson from George Washington University explained.

“It depends on how strong the candidates are. Sometimes you might have very weak candidates who are from the President's party. Sometimes, you have strong ones. The opponents of the President, particularly in the conservative wing of the Republican Party, have not given Obama one moment of peace,” he added.

After all, the real truth about the President’s popularity comes through when the Super Tuesday isn’t “mini”.