Ballot issues, governors' races dominate election

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS | November 8, 2011 | 3:05 AM EST

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, center, speaks with Columbia University students at a union hall in Cleveland Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. The students joined Trumka and local union members going door to door in the area urging a no vote on Ohio Issue 2. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The questions on ballots range from illegal immigration and union rights to President Obama's health care law. The answers from voters could offer valuable insight into the temperament of the American public.

Voters across the nation will decide a host of statewide initiatives Tuesday and elect governors in Mississippi and Kentucky. Their choices may point to political prospects for 2012, when an additional 10 governorships and the presidency are up for grabs.

In both states with governors' races, the chief executive offices are expected to stay in the hands of incumbent parties, despite the nation's stubbornly weak economy.

Tuesday's election will be voters' last major judgment of the year. But regardless of the referendums and races, experts agree that economic woes will be the most important factor in 2012.