(CNN) - Independents appear to be playing an important role in the country's two off-year gubernatorial races and in both states, and they are voting Republican.
In Virginia, where 30 percent of voters identify themselves as independent, 65 percent cast their ballots for CNN's projected winner, Republican Bob McDonnell. That's according to early CNN Exit Poll data. Democrat Creigh Deeds earned the votes of 34 percent of independents.
In New Jersey, the projected winner, Republican Chris Christie, took 60 percent of the independent vote while incumbent Governor Jon Corzine, a Democrat, got only 30 percent. The candidate running as an official Independent, Chris Daggett, got just 9 percent of the independent vote. Independents made up 28 percent of the voters in New Jersey race.
Updated 10:42pm ET