Democrats Seek Warning Signs from Voters

By David Chalian, ABC News - November 2, 2009

President Obama and his team are hoping to avoid going 0 for 3 on Election Day tomorrow.

The most pressing immediate political impact of a shutout may be some tougher-to-woo moderate Democratic votes on health care reform precisely at the same time the White House is looking to get this major legislative priority signed into law and off the president's desk.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has made sure to start downplaying any notion that the results on Tuesday may provide some measurement of the political health of the Obama administration.

"Whatever the results are I don't think they portend a lot in dealing with the future," Gibbs told reporters on Friday.

The latest polls in Virginia, New Jersey, and New York's 23rd congressional district, show that the Democrats may indeed be in for a rough night.

Obviously, taking a beating at the ballot box in three over-interpreted, off-year elections does not suggest that Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell should start measuring the drapes in the speaker and majority leader offices just yet.

But don't let Gibbs' pre-election attempt to downplay the results lead you to believe that the Obama White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill are not eagerly looking for warning signs on Tuesday.

The recent history of these off-year Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races has not been kind to the party holding the White House. And the first midterm election year for a new president has been equally harsh for his party.

Historic trends aside, Republican and Democratic political operatives say they are eager to see how two key voting groups perform on Tuesday.

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