TODAY   |  November 03, 2010

How did GOP pull off biggest win in 70 years?

NBC’s Chuck Todd breaks down the key races and crucial voter demographics that helped push Republicans over the top in their House victory.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

MATT LAUER, co-host: Chuck Todd is NBC 's political director and chief White House correspondent. He had a late night , as well, and is joining us here this morning. Chuck , good to see you. Put it in perspective. The Republicans are going to pick up somewhere around 60 seats in the House .

CHUCK TODD reporting: Yep.

LAUER: Compare that to recent midterm elections.

TODD: Look, this is the largest since World War II . Not since the midterm election right after Social Security passed and FDR did we see a repudiation, essentially, of the Democrats in this way back then. And I think it tells you, in a phrase that Bill Clinton said at one point after he lost in 1994 , "the era of big government is over" again. And I think that ends up being the big headline out of last night.

House 54

Senate 8 Approval Rating 47%

LAUER: You did a great job showing the Republicans ' path to victory...

TODD: Yeah.

LAUER: ...in the House . Take me to the Senate right now. Any surprises there for you?

TODD: Well, look, the surprise I think's Harry Reid . I mean, the fact that he was able to pull this off. You can't help but look at what happened in the Senate last night. This was a huge Republican night. The only reason there's a split decision is because of the tea party , because right now if it wasn't for the tea party -- if you look at Colorado , which we haven't called yet, Nevada and Delaware , if you put those in the Republican column, they'd be at nine. And we would sit there and say, 'Hey, Washington state is the 10th Senate seat,' and Republicans would be looking at control of both.

LAUER: We still don't know what's going to happen out in Alaska ...

TODD: Yeah.

LAUER: ...in that race here. What about the governors race in Florida ? When are we going to know that?

TODD: We may know something today. There's a dispute about how many ballots are still left. The Sink folks, the Democrats , believe there's a lot more ballots to be counted.

TODD: If so, and if they're in Palm Beach County and Dade County -- this is familiar, 10 years ago...

LAUER: Yeah, right.

TODD: You feel like we've been here. Deja vu.

LAUER: Deja vu all over again .

TODD: Exactly. But I tell you, Florida , one of the big bright spots for Republicans overall. The only reason Rick Scott is struggling here is because of his personal problems. Republicans had a huge night in Florida , huge night in Wisconsin . That has huge 2012 consequences for President Obama .

LAUER: You had a big night , too. Well done, Chuck .

TODD: Thank you, sir.

LAUER: Thanks very much.

TODD: All right.

LAUER: Appreciate you being here this morning.