NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The Republican Party wants to make an electoral statement by winning the upcoming governors races in New Jersey and Virginia, experts say.
John Weingart, associate director of Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics, said if Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie defeats New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, it could serve as inspiration to the conservative party, Stateline.org reported Wednesday.
"If Chris Christie, the Republican, wins in New Jersey, he and this race will become a symbol to the Republicans nationally, a beacon of hope that a Democratic incumbent can be defeated," Weingart said.
Similar benefits would come from a Republican victory in Virginia, where Democrat Tim Kaine is governor, said Tom Schaller, an assistant political science professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
"If the GOP wins both and wins them big, it will be tough for Democrats to explain them away, given that New Jersey is a solidly blue state and Virginia is trending in that direction," Schaller told Stateline.org.
Stateline.org notes that in advance of the 2010 elections, the Democratic party not only holds the White House and strong majorities in Congress, but also a majority of state governorships and legislatures.