Chalk one up for the team
(CNN) -- CNN projected Tuesday night that Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine will win the Virginia governor's race over Republican Jerry Kilgore, the state's former attorney general.
In the race for New Jersey governor, CNN projected Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine would defeat Republican Doug Forrester, the GOP's unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate in 2002.
Californians were giving their verdict on four ballot measures that have become a major political test for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and New Yorkers were deciding whether to give Mayor Michael Bloomberg a second term.
Polls going into Election Day suggested that Bloomberg, a Republican, would coast to victory.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. in Virginia, 8 p.m. in New Jersey and 9 p.m. in New York City.
In Virginia, pre-election polls had shown a neck-and-neck race between Kaine and Kilgore. They were fighting to replace the popular Democratic Gov. Mark Warner, who was barred by state law from seeking a second term.
With about 89 percent of precincts reporting, Kaine was leading with 51.3 percent of the vote to Kilgore's 46.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the state.
Though Virginia leans Republican, Kaine appeared to have benefited from the popularity of Warner, who has been mentioned as a possible 2008 Democratic presidential candidate.
He could also have been helped by a third candidate in the race, GOP state Sen. Russell Potts, whose independent candidacy was carrying 2.2 percent of the vote.
While initially rejecting offers of help from President Bush, Kilgore appeared Monday night with the commander in chief at a large Richmond rally. (Full Story)
"You know where he stands, and you know he can get the job done," the president said.
In a controversial move, Kilgore faulted Kaine for his opposition to the death penalty, which Kaine says goes against his Catholic faith.
In an ad, a father of a murder victim said Kaine would not seek the death penalty for Adolf Hitler.
Kaine said the attack was an unfair attack on his faith and said he would carry out his oath of office and enforce Virginia's death penalty laws if elected.
Tough New Jersey Race
In New Jersey, Corzine fought a close race with Forrester, though the Garden State is solidly Democratic.
Corzine was leading with 53.2 percent of the vote to Forrester's 43.7 percent, with about 42 percent of precincts reporting, according to results reported by The Associated Press.
Both men are multimillionaires who pumped their own money into what became an increasingly nasty race.
Together, they spent more than $70 million on the campaign, making it the most expensive race in state history.
The campaign was harsh at times, with both candidates trading charges of corruption. Forrester's campaign aired ads featuring Corzine's ex-wife.
New Jersey Democrats also were damaged by a messy scandal last year in which former Gov. Jim McGreevey resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair with a male aide and acknowledging he was gay.
Forrester tried to tie Corzine to the Democrats' problems in Trenton and Corzine attempted to tie Forrester to Bush, who lost New Jersey by nearly 250,000 votes last year.
Recent polls had shown Corzine with a lead, though Forrester was within striking distance.
Schwarzenegger -- a Republican swept into office two years ago in a recall election in which disgruntled voters ousted Democratic Gov. Gray Davis -- called a special election in June to push four ballot initiatives.
The move made good on his vow to go over the heads of Democratic legislators and take his reform agenda straight to the people.
But in the months since, the bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-politician has seen his approval numbers sink, as Californians questioned the necessity and $50 million price tag of the special election.
Pre-election polls showed that only one of the initiatives, which would limit tenure for teachers, appears to have a decent chance of passage.
A measure prohibiting public employee unions from using dues for political activities without the permission of their workers trailed by about 10 points in recent polls.
And Schwarzenegger's initiatives to cap the growth of state spending and to strip legislators of the power to redraw congressional and legislative districts trailed by even larger margins.
Many political observers in the Golden State believe a string of defeats in Tuesday's ballot initiatives could portend ill for Schwarzenegger's re-election prospects in 2006. He announced in September that he would seek a full term next year.
The governor and his wife, Maria Shriver, cast their ballots Tuesday in a garage near their Los Angeles home. After voting, they got into an SUV and left, without stopping to comment to reporters.
California polls close at 8 p.m. (11 p.m. ET)
Bloomberg enjoys 30 point lead
In New York, Bloomberg's race with former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer appeared to be a mismatch, despite a more than 5-to-1 Democratic advantage in registered voters in the Big Apple. Recent polls showed Bloomberg with a lead of more than 30 points.
The mayor smiled and gave a thumbs-up Tuesday morning after voting at a Manhattan school. He ended his campaign Monday night with an appearance at the top of the Empire State Building.
Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul, was a political novice when he was elected just two months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, with the support of then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
As he did four years ago, Bloomberg has dipped into his vast personal fortune to finance his campaign, which has spent more than $28 million on television ads, according to TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on advertising spending.
# Voters in Maine were deciding whether to repeal a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Recent polls showed the repeal trailing by a wide margin.
# In Ohio, voters were deciding whether to shift redistricting from the legislature to a nonpartisan commission, a measure put on the ballot after complaints about the 2004 election in the Buckeye State. Recent polls have shown the measure trailing.
# Texas became the 17th state to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, according to a projection by the AP.
# Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick -- dubbed the "hip-hop" mayor after his election four years ago when he was only 31 -- was fighting for his political life after a four-year term dogged by a series of missteps. Recent polls showed him behind challenger Freman Hendrix, a former deputy mayor.
# In San Diego, California, surf shop owner Donna Frye -- a Democratic city councilwoman who was denied the mayor's office last year after a court battle over a disputed election -- was in a close race for the same post with Republican Jerry Sanders, a former police chief. The winner will be the city's fourth mayor in the past year, amid a wave of political turmoil that has swept the nation's seventh largest city.
CNN's Chris Huntington, Candy Crowley, Robert Yoon and Bill Schneider contributed to this report.
Copyright 2005 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.