WASHINGTON -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says election results in three key races will be viewed as a "barometer" for President Barack Obama's popularity.
Pawlenty was in Washington for an education event on Tuesday. He says that governor's races in New Jersey and Virginia and a special election for a U.S. House seat in New York's 23rd District are important tests.
If the GOP-backed candidates win two of the three races, Pawlenty says, it will be a "pretty good shot across the bow at the Obama administration."
In New York's 23rd District, there is no Republican running after one candidate dropped out over the weekend. But Pawlenty had already backed Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party nominee, and national Republicans have followed suit.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)