Republicans 'win' US state races

Defeats for Democrats in governors' election in two states seen as setback for Obama.

    Republicans said McDonnell's win over Deeds was due to voter unhappiness with Obama's policies [AFP]

    'Blow to president' 

    In video


    Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds on the moment Barack Obama was elected US president

    The election results could give some clues as to the national mood a year after Obama of the Democratic party was elected president and a year before 2010 congressional elections that will represent the first clear referendum on Obama's time in office.

    The Republican party wasted no time in claiming a broader victory for its wins.

    "The Republican party's overwhelming victory in Virginia is a blow to President Obama and the Democrat party," Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee chairman, said.

    "It sends a clear signal that voters have had enough of the president's liberal agenda."

    However, Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, dismissed the potential impact of the governors' races on Democrats and the 2010 congressional polls.

    "I don't believe that local elections in New Jersey and Virginia portend a lot about legislative success or political success in the future," he said.

    While local factors influenced all three races, the persisting weak state of the US economy appeared to be an overarching issue that played a role in each state.

    Two appearances on Deeds' behalf by Obama appeared to have little impact in Virginia, as Democrats suffered from a lack of enthusiasm without Obama on the ticket.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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