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Big Republican gains in Ohio and Pennsylvania: a danger sign for Democrats

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Tony Dejak/AP

(Read caption) Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich celebrates a victory during the Ohio Republican Party celebration, Wednesday, in Columbus, Ohio.

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While most of the media attention has focused on Senate and House races tonight, Republicans have also picked up some major gubernatorial seats.

Particularly important, from a national perspective: Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In Ohio, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland lost to Republican John Kasich despite intense last-minute campaigning from President Obama, and in Pennsylvania, Democrat Dan Onorato lost to Republican Tom Corbett.

Republicans also picked up significant numbers of House seats in both states.

Given the importance that Ohio and Pennsylvania wield in presidential elections, the shifting political tides there are a big warning sign to Democrats looking ahead to 2012.

Governor Strickland’s loss was a particular blow. Pre-election polls were close, and Democrats were hoping to hang onto control of such a crucial state.

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