1 of 11 | U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a rally for State Senator Creigh Deeds, who is running for governor of Virginia, at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in Virginia on August 6, 2009. UPI/Joshua Roberts/Pool | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie ousted New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine in Tuesday's election, a Republican victory in a typically Democratic state.
The GOP victory came on the same night as Republican Robert McDonnell captured the gubernatorial race in Virginia.
With 81 percent of the districts counted in New Jersey, Christie had about 49 percent of the vote to 45 percent for Corzine, The New York Times reported. Independent Chris Daggett, a former Republican environmental official, had 5 percent of the vote.
President Barack Obama made three visits to the state in an effort to help Corzine pull out a victory. Voter unhappiness with New Jersey's high taxes and economic troubles undermined the governor, political analysts concluded.
McDonnell, a former Virginia attorney general, easily beat state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds Tuesday in the race to become the state's 71st governor.
Democrats, who had won the last two gubernatorial races, suffered a GOP sweep of statewide races. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling cruised to victory and state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli won the contest for attorney general.
McDonnell, 55, had promised to create new jobs in the sluggish economy and ease congestion on clogged roads without increasing taxes. He played down his conservative views on social issues and gained support from independent voters, who proved essential to the election of his two Democratic predecessors, The Roanoke (Va.) Times reported.
The Post noted Deeds, 51, never pulled together the coalition of voters that helped Barack Obama become the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Virginia in more than four decades.
Voters in New Jersey, Maine, New York, Ohio and Washington states also went to the polls Tuesday.
Along with voting for candidates, they cast ballots on same-sex marriage, medical marijuana and casino gambling.
Six states have 26 measures on their ballots for the 2009 Election Day, down from the 33.2 average number of initiatives common in odd-year elections, the National Council of State Legislatures said on its Web site.
Maine voters were deciding whether to overturn a law permitting same-sex marriage while Washington voters were deciding whether to repeal a law giving domestic partnership rights to same-sex and unmarried senior couples that are equivalent to the rights provided by marriage.
Maine voters also were asked to consider amending existing medical marijuana laws to expand the list of conditions for which it can be prescribed and set up a procedure to grow the list in the future without a public vote. The measure also would create and regulate a dispensary system, among other things.
Ohio voters considered whether to allow one casino to be built in each of four cities. Tuesday's ballot question was the fifth time since 1990 that Ohio voters were asked to approve casino gambling -- the four previous initiatives failed.
Other measures states put to their voters involved setting revenue limits and several bonding questions.
In addition to the Virginia gubernatorial race, Election Day 2009 featured at least two other races described by some pundits as an early referendum on Obama.
Polls indicated Republican challenger Chris Christie was in a statistical dead heat with Democratic incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey.
A congressional election in upstate New York has turned into a litmus test for conservatives. Dede Scozzafava, supported by the local GOP, dropped out and endorsed Democratic candidate Bill Owens following a backlash by Republican conservatives who put up their own candidate, Doug Hoffman.