Independent voters who helped President Obama in a historic 2008 victory may have made a big break for Republicans Tuesday as the GOP took control from Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey.
Republican Bob McDonnell’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds, and Republican Chris Christie’s victory over New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was a triumph for a party looking to rebuild after being booted from power in national elections in 2006 and 2008.
The Democratic Party came out on top locally, as the mayors of the Twin Cities won re-election. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak won a third four-year term, despite being open about a probable run for governor in 2010. St. Paul’s mayor, Chris Coleman, also recently ruled out a run for governor.
The Democratic Party saw some other victories around the country. In the U.S. House race, Democrat Bill Owens captured a vacant 23rd Congressional District seat in New York.
California Lt. Governor John Garamendi defeated his Republican opponent, attorney David Harmer, in a special election for a Northern California congressional seat.
Michael Bloomberg, Independent, won a third term as New York mayor in a closer-than-expected race against a Democratic challenger who raised voter resentment over the way Bloomberg changed the city’s term-limits law so he could stay in office.
Also, gay marriage has now lost in every state – 31 in all – in which it has been put to a popular vote. With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Maine voters revoked a state law that would have allowed same-sex couples to wed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.