All Eyes on Va., NJ Gubernatorial Races

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It's an off-year election, but two governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey are being closely watched as an indicator of things to come during next year's mid-term elections.
    
And those races are also seen as a test of President Obama and the Democratic Party.
 
Voters in New Jersey head to the polls in less than 24 hours, and with the candidates running neck and neck, incumbent Governor Jon Corzine brought in President Obama to speak to his constituents at a Democratic rally.
    
Obama called on Democrats to re-elect Corzine to a second term and described him as a key partner in rebuilding the economy.

"It wasn't a consequence of Obama policies or Corzine policies that we went into this hole," the president said.

Corzine has outspent his Republican challenger, Chris Christie, by nearly three times in campaign dollars, but that hasn't translated in the polls.

He is banking on President Obama who has campaigned with him three times to deliver a win on Tuesday.

Democrats desperately need a victory in The Garden State, because in Virginia they are bracing to lose the governor's mansion to Republican Bob McDonnell, who leads Democrat Creigh Deeds by double digits.

"This is the two-minute drill," McDonnell said. "The TV, radio, and the mailing is done. It's now about getting people to show up on game day Tuesday."

"I"m here to tell you the only poll that counts is the one that will be taken Tuesday," Deeds said.

Obama won Republican-leaning Virginia last year during the presidential election by appealing to independents.
 
"But many of those same people right now seem to have real concerns over the Democratic Party, especially issues related to spending and health care," said Jonathan Martin of Politico.com.

Political analysts see a potential for big gains if Republicans succeed on election day.

"It could generate the kind of enthusiasm and money that really would help the Republicans a year from now," said the Rothenberg Political Report's Stuart Rothenberg.

Tuesday's outcome might also provide a picture of things to come in the 2010 mid-term elections.

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