4 Nov 2009

Republicans take two US governor's races

9:29 pm on 4 November 2009

The opposition Republicans have won victories in two key elections in the United States, a year after Barack Obama won the presidency.

In Virginia, the Republican candidate, Robert McDonnell, won the governorship by a comfortable margin.

And in the traditionally Democratic state of New Jersey, the Republican, Chris Christie, defeated the incumbent Governor, Jon Corzine.

Voters clearly expressed concern about the direction of the US economy, which suffers from a 9.8% jobless rate the president has been unable to reduce.

The election outcome in Virginia and New Jersey could offer clues on the mood of America, a year before 2010 congressional elections that will represent the first clear referendum on Mr Obama's time in office.