Governor Elections a Peek at Current Voter Attitudes

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The outcome from Tuesday's election could provide clues for mid-term elections next year as both parties are closely watching the governor's races in New Jersey and Virginia.

Many believe what happens in these governor's races will indicate what strategies will appeal most to voters in the coming months.

Both parties are hoping the two states will reveal voter attitudes on national issues and help pave the way for success in 2014. 

Many people are looking at the two governor's races, Virginia and New Jersey, as a blueprint for the future of the Republican party, why is that? Dr, Paul Bonicelli, professor of government and the executive vice-president of Regent University, talks about this and more on CBN Newswatch, Nov. 5.

The Virginia contest pits Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli against Terry McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee. Both men have tried to tie the other to issues seen as problematic for their party.

McAuliffe hoped to link Cuccinelli to Tea Party Republicans in Congress.

"While he may cynically want everyone to forget the shutdown, Virginia's memory is better than that," McAuliffe said.

Cuccinelli, on the other hand, wants to connect Mcauliffe with the disastrous rollout of the president's health care plan.

He has trailed McAuliffe in the polls, but recent surveys show public outrage over Obamacare may have helped him close the gap to one or two points.

McAuliffe supports the Affordable Healthcare Act and promises to use it to expand Medicaid for health coverage for 400,000 Virginians.

Tuesday's turnout could be a sign of which issue--the shutdown or Obamacare -- resonates more with voters.

It will depend on who turns out and how many go to the polls. Both sides expect just 40 percent.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has campaigned extensively for McAuliffe. If he wins, many believe it be a victory for her as well.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said this could be a great victory of the "Clinton march into the presidency"

"It'll be a tribute to Terry's persistence and to Bill and Hillary's ability to build a strategic machine," he said.

In New Jersey, the race has plenty of national implications. Most expect incumbent Gov. Chris Christie will cruise to victory. As a solid Republican on solid Democratic turf, his campaign could shed light on GOP strategy ahead, and his own presidential potential.

So far however, presidential aspirations are a topic Christie won't address.

"I've got to govern this state. Whatever the future brings it will bring. But first things first here," he said.

Hundreds of cities are also electing mayors today. In New York, Bill de Blasio is expected to become the first Democrat to lead the Big Apple in two decades.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.