DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Big judgments about the direction of the country will have to wait until next fall's midterm elections.

Voters around the country will express opinions today on a host of local issues and personalities, such as how best to turn the page in San Diego's scandal-ridden mayor's office and how tiny Coralville, Iowa, plans to battle its $280-million debt.

From ballot initiatives to mayor's races, these off-year elections will shed virtually no light on how the American public feels about today's two biggest national debates — spending and health care.

Among the bigger races are governor elections in New Jersey and Virginia and mayoral contests in New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Seattle and San Diego, where Mayor Bob Filner resigned in August amid sexual harassment allegations.