G.O.P. Wins Two Key Governors’ Races

Republicans swept contests for governor in New Jersey and Virginia on Tuesday as voters went to the polls filled with economic uncertainty, dealing President Obama a setback and building momentum for a Republican comeback attempt in next year’s midterm Congressional elections.

But in a closely watched Congressional race in upstate New York, a Democrat who received a late push from the White House triumphed over a conservative candidate who attracted national backers ranging from Rush Limbaugh to Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor.

In New Jersey, a former federal prosecutor, Christopher J. Christie, became the first Republican to win statewide in 12 years by vowing to attack the state’s fiscal problems with the same aggressiveness he used to lock up corrupt politicians.

He overcame a huge Democratic voter advantage and a relentless barrage of negative commercials to defeat Jon S. Corzine, an unpopular incumbent who outspent him by more than two to one and drew heavily on political help from the White House, including three visits to the state from President Obama.

nyt