TODAY | November 03, 2010
>>> the election results can be seen in large part as a referendum on president obama 's first two years in office. and that has some people looking ahead to 2012 .
>> republicans haven't even finished their victory lap yet and they're already eyeing the other end of pennsylvania avenue locked in their plans to recover the white house . republicans basking in the glow of victory are now dreaming of an even bigger prize, the republicans known for picking their heir apparent are now entering unfamiliar territory, with the tea party activists.
>> who's term is it to win the nomination? but this time there's a real vacuum.
>> in 2012 , the republican primaries may look more like the ncaa basketball tournament . first the establishment bracket, including former massachusetts governor mitt romney who ran in 2008 . tim pawlenty , the former governor of minnesota . mississippi governor halle barbour. south dakota senator john thune and chris christie . and former florida governor jeb bush . analysts say one of these candidates may be best equipped to take on president obama .
>> pawlenty, barbour, mitch daniels , those are three that i'm going to be watching very, very carefully.
>> and there's the grass roots bracket former arkansas governor mike huckabee ran before and could again. along with perennial hopeful former house speaker newt gingrich . but they may all be eclipsed by sarah palin who admits she is considering a run.
>> if there's nobody else to do it, then of course i would believe that we should do this.
>> reporter: the key question when it comes to picking the nominee, will the tea party have --
>> i think the tea party will be involved in choosing our nominee. but i don't think it will be anything like monolithic.
>> and will barack obama face a charger within his own party?
>> it's on to the next fight. it's on to the next battle. it's on to 2012 .
>> reporter: the other outside possibility, a third party candidate. if sarah palin divides the republicans, don't rule out a run by new york city mayor mike bloomberg, and he could pay his way. president obama will go a long ways to retool his own message and that begins with his post election news conference later tod today.
>> i would have to say it's a huge republican victory, with an asterisk and the asterisk is the senate. and i say this because all of a sudden if i'm speaker designate john boehner , i'm feeling great and i don't have to worry about a republican senate. i can say hey, the democratic senate and the democratic president are holding everything up.
>> i did what i could.
>> let's pick up on what you said and talk about these independents, we learned something about them, they are a fickle group and they don't have a lot of patience and just as they didn't have patience with the democrats over these last few years and got rid of them, what are they going to be expecting from republicans over these next two years?
>> this group can move again in the next two years. i think the big message here is that americans don't want government to play the role that it's been playing. it wants it to play a smaller role. and to your point, the independent voters are going to render that judgment and quickly. they want to see less government, less spending, that's the focus now, cutting government spending , that's what you're going to hear republicans talk about every day, every week.
>> but if you have a democratic controlled house and a republican controlled senate.
>> when you were interviewing rand paul, they have support for gridlock. they want less government and that means they don't want action from congress. i think the obama coalition has disappeared in two years. the young people , the independents the minorities, they were not there for him.
>> how is he going to get them back?
>> he has to retool the message. i'm not certain that it's possible to put it together that quickly without either fighting with congress or working with congress. i'm not sure how he reaches outs and figures out the strategy.
>> futons for everybody.
>> andrea david and chuck, thank