Despite Republicans' efforts to link Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin to President Obama and his health-care plan, Tomblin pulled out the victory in the West Virginia governor's race.
Tomblin, the acting governor and former state Senate president who took over when Joe Manchin became a U.S. Senator, defeated Republican Bill Maloney, a former drilling company executive, 50%-47%.
Polls, both public and private, had shown the race closing in recent days. And the Republican Governors Association blitzed the airwaves in the Washington, D.C., media market -- which reaches part of West Virginia -- with ads questioning why Tomblin hadn't signed on to a lawsuit seeking to stop the implementation of the federal health-care plan that passed last year.