I'm sick of hearing people talk about the "Republican resurgence" or the "Anti-Obama backlash." Here are the facts about Virginia and New Jersey.
These two states elect their governors every four years, but the gubernatorial elections happen exactly one year after the Presidential election, which means ten months after the inauguration. And these two states love to vote against the party in office. This has been true since the first Bush.
Forget about the candidates. Forget about the issues. Forget about exit polls and party registration and the economy and all of that other stuff.
VA and NJ like to elect a governor who isn't from the President's party. More below the fold.
In 2008, I used to check electoral-vote.com almost every day -- to see if Obama had enough electoral votes. I still look at it once in a while.
At electoral-vote.com, I recently ran across this table (you may have to scroll down past the map of the U.S.):
Year President Virginia Governor Winner New Jersey Governor Winner Net House 2009 Barack Obama (D) Bob McDonnell (R) Chris Christie (R) ? 2005 George W. Bush (R) Tim Kaine (D) Jon Corzine (D) Dem +31 2001 George W. Bush (R) Mark Warner (D) Jim McGreevey (D) GOP +7 1997 Bill Clinton (D) Jim Gilmore (R) Christie Whitman (R) Dem +5 1993 Bill Clinton (D) George Allen (R) Christie Whitman (R) GOP +54 1989 George H.W. Bush (R) Doug Wilder (D) Jim Florio (D) Dem +7 1985 Ronald Reagan (R) Gerald Baliles (D) Tom Kean (R) Dem +5 1981 Ronald Reagan (R) Chuck Robb (D) Tom Kean (R) Dem +27
Democrats in bold
Notice the trend: Whichever party holds the White House loses VA and NJ. Over and over.
It doesn't mean that the Republicans are on the rise. It doesn't mean that the country suddenly hates Obama. It's just the same old thing that has happened for the last twenty years.