WASHINGTON (CNN) – The White House is continuing to downplay the notion that the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races are referendums on President Obama as he heads into next year's midterm elections.
"Whatever the results are I don't think they portend a lot in dealing with the future," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters in Friday's briefing.
In Virginia, polls indicate that Republican Bob McDonnell is holding onto a clear lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds. The picture is muddier in New Jersey, where surveys suggest a statistical dead heat between Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine and his Republican challenger, Chris Christie, with Independent Chris Daggett in the low double digits.
"In 2001, if I'm not mistaken, in Virginia and New Jersey, a Democrat won in either one of those," Gibbs continued. "I don't think anybody thought that when they looked at the election results in 2002 they thought that President Bush was signicantly hampered by that."
Democrats Mark Warner and Jim McGreevey won the 2001 gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, respectively. But Republicans, riding President Bush's sky-high approval ratings after the September 11 attacks, came out on top in the following year's mid-term elections.
Gibbs said the administration continues "to take the long view on what's going on in Washington and throughout the country."
The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, boasted in a memo sent to reporters Friday that Democrats are in danger of losing in both states because the administration has tried to do "too much, too soon and at too high a price."
I'm from NJ...I voted for Pres Obama, and I still support him. Like others here, however, this has NOTHING to do with how I feel about the NJ governor's election. BOTH major candidates suck.
I will probably vote for Independent party candidate Chris Daggett, if for no other reason than to express my dissatisfaction at all the Democratic & Republican louts we have running an otherwise wonderful state.
Ifs not just a referendum on B-ditty. It is a referendum on liberalism and its utter failings on every aspect of government. There were only 2 reasons obama and the socialsts swept into power in 08. The first is ACORN, with the support of incumbent democrat state government allowing illegal votes to be counted in key swing states. The second and most important reason b-ditty was elected, was disatisfaction of conservatives with the republican party. It wasnt that America which has always been a die-hard right wing country, suddenly saw the fruits of socialism. Give me a break!! The proof is in the Virginia and New Jersey elections and more importantly the NY23. We conservatives are cleaning out the liberals that have infiltrated the republican party. In 2010 we will clean the liberals out of the federal government. There is an unstoppable conservative grassroots movement growing. LIberals(not blue dog dems) should be worried. The first thing we will do when we take back both houses of congress in 2010, is remove the imposter-in-chief from office. He is a liar, coward, traitor, and phony who isnt even qualified to be president due to the fact he is a resident alien. Suck on that libs!!
I live in NJ. Corzine has been a poor Governor. This state is bankrupt. His negative adds have pushed me to vote for anyone but him. Even so, this state is so stupid they will re-elect Corzine. We have the highest property taxes in the nation, a 7 percent sales tax and we can't come close to balancing the budget. Corzine must go. But I've lived here too long too get my hopes up.
It is what it is. Obama will still be re-elected in 2012.