California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been defeated in a special election which he called to push through state reforms. The initiatives involve limiting increases in state spending and stripping legislators of the power to redraw congressional districts.
The results look certain to damage Schwarzenegger’s re-election bid next year.
In New York, Republican mayor Michael Bloomberg was voted in for a second term by a comfortable margin. The billionaire media mogul was a political novice when he was elected just after the 9-11 attacks, but he has impressed many with the way he has applied his management and financial skills to running the city.
Although New York is solidly democratic, Bloomberg’s opponent Fernando Ferrer never looked like a serious threat during the campaign.
In other polls, Democrats won governorships in Virginia and New Jersey – that is being seen as a setback to President Bush ahead of next year’s mid-term vote.