Analysis: Elections a Referendum on Obama?

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Some are calling Tuesday's election results a referendum on President Obama's first year in office.

For weeks now, the White House has been publicly saying that the off-year elections in places like Virginia, New Jersey, and New York were simply not a reflection of how the country feels about President Obama after his first year in office.

There may be some truth to that but that assessment is a little complicated.

First of all, in Virginia, President Obama didn't spend much time there in the governor's race, knowing full well that the Republican Bob McDonnell was leading by double digits.

Also, the majority of voters in Virginia said President Obama's views did not influence their vote in this election.

Throw in the fact that the president's approval numbers are still pretty high in Virginia, and you come to the conclusion that this race may simply be more about McDonnell running a great campaign and the Democrat Creigh Deeds not running a very good one.

However, in New Jersey, the president spent a lot of time campaigning for the Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. So clearly the White House put more of the president's reputation on the line in that state.

As for New York, while the outcome clearly matters, this story is really more about how a moderate Republican candidate left this race because voters preferred the conservative party candidate instead.

So going forward, get ready for the battle cry from die-hard conservatives who will say the future of the party is rooted in Reagan conservatism and not in some big tent, kumbaya philosophy. 

The political storyline leading up to the 2010 elections may feature headlines that say, "Republicans divided over party direction."

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CBN News Election 2009 Preview

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David Brody is an Emmy Award-winning veteran news journalist who has interviewed many prominent national figures during his career of nearly 25 years. Currently, David covers the White House and interviews national newsmakers across the country.  Follow David on Twitter @TheBrodyFile and "like" him at Facebook.com/TheBrodyFile.