One Doesn’t Want Him, the Other Might Not Get Him

Politico observes the year’s two high-profile gubernatorial races and finds a stark difference:

The two Democrats running for governor in the closely watched New Jersey and Virginia elections this fall are taking markedly different approaches when it comes to President Barack Obama.

Deeds was nowhere to be found when Obama came to Bristol, Virginia this week. And his opponent Bob McDonnell is very deliberately pressing Deeds to take a stand on the ultraliberal policies of Obama and the Democratic Congress.

But Corzine, among his many problems, may have trouble roping Obama into his gubernatorial race. Why would Obama want to show up in the wake of the massive corruption bust and use up his political capital on a governor trailing by double digits and with an approval rating of less than 40 percent? Corzine and the Trenton machine are about as far from “hope and change” as one can get — and Corzine’s fiscal woes and tax-hiking fetish isn’t exactly an agenda Obama wants to be associated with.

The two races come at a particularly troubling time for Obama and the Democrats as the president’s poll numbers are drifting downward and the public is registering its disapproval of the liberal agenda emanating from Washington. Things could look different on Election Day, but for now it appears that Obama’s impact may be neutral — or even a net negative — in races that rightly or wrongly will be viewed as precursors to the 2010 congressional elections.