[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/03/art.deedsobama.gi.jpg caption="Exit poll: Obama not a big factor in Virginia."]
(CNN) - There's been plenty of talk by political pundits that Virginia's gubernatorial contest was a referendum on President Barack Obama, but voters don't agree, according to data from CNN exit polls of people voting Tuesday in that state's gubernatorial contest.
Fifty-five percent of Virgina voters polled say that Obama was not a factor in how they voted, with 24 percent suggesting that their vote was meant to express opposition to the president, and 18 percent indicating that their vote was meant to express support for Obama.
"What you are seeing is that the president's coattails didn't have a lot of durability from last year to this. He certainly pulled in Democrats last year when he was on top of the ticket," says CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "When he is not on top of the ticket, I think then it reverts to the person who actually is there and who they are voting on, so this is certainly a lesson for Democrats as to just how far the president's powers of persuasion can go. Whether or not he can translate that magic on to a different ticket, and I would say that's sort of not looking as though it does."