Race to the Right: GOP Sweeps Governor Seats

VIDEO: A summary of which Sarah Palin-endorsed candidates were successful.
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In a sweep of stunning and historical victories, Republicans took 29 gubernatorial seats after election night -- five seats more than when they started, and a possible precursor to what may lie ahead in the 2012 presidential election.

Although the GOP suffered a major gubernatorial loss in California, eleven governors' seats that previously belonged to Democrats have now gone to the Republicans, including swing states Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The Democrats regained two gubernatorial wins post-election night in air-tight states. The Illinois race was resolved Thursday evening when Pat Quinn, the Democratic mayor who took over for ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich, was declared the winner over Republican Bill Brady has not conceded. Despite a heavily fought battle, Quinn pulled ahead and won by about 19,000 votes.

Oregon was called late Wednesday night when Republican and former NBA player Chris Dudley conceded to incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber, handing him a historic third term.

That didn't phase the overwhelming red wave that roared throughout the country on election night. In a press conference Wednesday, President Obama said the Democratic setback "feels bad" and "it underscores for me that I have to do a better job."

He also acknowledged his party's defeat was a result of voters' "great" frustration with the enormous budget deficit, faulting economy and job loss -- all of which were reoccurring themes in races across the country.

"In the midst of an economic crisis, one of the things I take responsibly for is not pushing harder on those issues," he said, adding that, "We have not made as much progress as we need to make...and voters are not satisfied with the outcomes."

Many of the races remained incredibly tight to the bitter end from the record number of independent voters and candidates pulling away from the two major parties. Rhode Island, especially, stode out as voters elected the state's first independent governor.

The Tea Party movement also scored big gubernatorial wins in South Carolina and Ohio. Republican Nikki Haley, who had been dubbed one of Sarah Palin's "mama grizzles," was announced the winner in the Palmetto state, and in Ohio, Republican candidate John Kasich kicked out incumbent Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland.

Two gubernatorial races remain too close to call: Connecticut and Minnesota.

Connecticut's Secretary of State announced Democrat Dan Malloy has beaten Republican Tom Foley by a meer 3,103 votes on Wednesday, but Foley continues to call for a recount.

According to exit polls, Connecticut is a state where 40 percent of voters surveyed said they were Democrats, compared to just 27 percent Republicans. Once again, independents made a huge impact with voting 58-39 percent for the GOP candidate.

ABC News' Devin Dwyer reported Minnesota also may be headed into a recount -- a state where President Obama and now former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stumped together in the final stretch of the campaign. Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Sen. Mark Dayton holds a very slim 9,000 vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer.

But the current margin of votes is 0.43 percent of the total cast, triggering an automatic recount, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.

In this three-way heated battle, Independent candidate Tom Horner is only carrying 12 percent, but has successfully made enough of a dent to pull voters away from the two major parties.

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