It was a night of disappointment for Democrats, who lost the governor’s mansion in New Jersey shortly after losing in Virginia. But was it a referendum on President Barack Obama’s agenda, as some pundits claimed, or testament to the unpopularity of incumbent governor and former Goldman Sachs CEO (great timing) Jon Corzine?

The winner of the contest, former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie (pictured), once played a villain of sorts in a particularly troubling report from public radio’s “This American Life.” It’s worth a listen if you don’t already know this one. After all, the man will now lead the most densely populated state in the nation. — PZS

New York Times:

Off-year races are often sleepy affairs, and the turnout, for the most part, appeared to be low on Tuesday. Few long lines were reported, even in New Jersey, the scene of the day’s toughest-to-call race. Voter apathy seemed to belie the more dramatic narrative that has been hoisted on Tuesday’s races, which political officials have described as high-stakes contests that could shape next year’s Congressional agenda and reveal deep divisions within a Republican party seeking a return path to power.

In New Jersey, a fierce battle between Mr. Corzine and Mr. Christie quickly deteriorated into ad hominem attacks. Both candidates spent the final day of the campaign in a flurry of last-minute campaigning. Shaking hands with voters in Bayonne around noon, Mr. Corzine pointed to the sunny blue sky above the Broadway Diner and called it a good omen — but only after buttonholing the city’s mayor, Mark Smith, leaning in close and growling at him to “drag, drag” people to the polls if necessary.

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