In some odd years, gubernatorial races and special congressional elections offer a foreshadowing, or at least a hint, of what might happen in the next year’s national elections. In other odd years, no pattern emerges. We never know which until after the national elections occur, making the off-year elections a less-than-helpful indicator.

This year, the outcome of New Jersey’s gubernatorial election on Nov. 5 is unlikely to tell us anything useful about the 2014 midterms. Republican Chris Christie looks almost certain to roll up a big reelection victory. Much will be read into the results, given the state’s heavy Democratic tilt. Christie’s victory, though, won’t foretell the future. It will simply reflect that he is exceedingly formidable and has cracked the code of how a Republican wins in a Democratic state, much the way former New Jersey GOP Govs. Tom Kean and Christie Whitman did before him.

The better test will be the gubernatorial race in Virginia between Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and business executive Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Historically, Virginia has

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