N.J. Race Could Be Omen for Incumbents


New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) today (Nov. 3) becomes the first incumbent governor in the 2009-2010 election cycle to face the voters amid the rising unemployment and deep budget cuts that have hit states across the nation. How he fares could be an omen ahead of next year's 37 gubernatorial races, including at least 17 in which incumbents are still in the running .

In Virginia - home to this year's only other gubernatorial contest - former attorney general Robert McDonnell is hoping to become the first Republican elected to the governor's mansion in eight years amid a recent Democratic surge in the state, both at the state level and federally.

Virginia and New Jersey have voted for the same political party in their past five gubernatorial elections, dating to 1989, the National Journal recently noted .

Important and controversial ballot questions, meanwhile - including tax and spending measures and social questions such as the legalization of gay marriage - will be decided by voters in Maine, Ohio, Washington and elsewhere.


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