Races an early test of Obama influence - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Races an early test of Obama influence


WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's Election Day 2009. Two states are electing governors in what could be seen as a very early test of President Barack Obama's political influence.

Obama has spent a considerable amount of time and energy trying to ensure that Democrats win governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey and pick up a GOP-held congressional seat in upstate New York.

In doing so, Obama has raised the stakes of an off-year election season -- and is risking political embarrassment if any of them lose.

Polls have Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds trailing Republican Bob McDonnell in Virginia. In New Jersey, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine is in a close race with Republican Chris Christie and independent Chris Daggett. And in the race to fill the vacant 23rd Congressional District seat in New York, Democrat Bill Owens is in a tight fight with conservative Doug Hoffman after the GOP's hand-picked candidate bowed out over the weekend.

Online Reporter: Kelsi Schindler

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