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Video: Big GOP wins

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    >> we'll be the judge.

    >>> let's begin this wednesday morning with our "decision 2009 " coverage and those important wins for the gop. chuck todd is nbc's political director and chief white house correspondent. chuck, good morning to you.

    >> reporter: good morning, matt. well, look, the debate's going to rage all day and perhaps all week about how much of a referendum this is on president obama , but this much is clear -- after three years of losing, the republicans are back in the winning column. *

    >> reporter: for republicans, the biggest victory of the night came in new jersey, where chris christie came out on top.

    >> hey, new jersey, we did it!

    >> reporter: new jersey is where the president put his prestige on the line.

    >> fired up! ready to go! fired up!

    >> reporter: hoping his last-minute campaign efforts would drag the unpopular governor jon corzine across the finish line . it didn't work out.

    >> let's turn the page . let's put the petty politics of the past behind us and let's start a new era of hope and optimism in new jersey.

    >> reporter: christie survived a brutal negative campaign by corzine. the former head of goldman sachs out-spent his opponent nearly 2 - 1 .

    >> the people have chosen tonight. that does not mean that the people in this room, the democrats in this room, the democrats across this state or across this country don't have an agenda to carry forward. *

    >> reporter: christie won by pulling independents into the republican column. among this key voting group, christie topped corzine 58% to 31%. last year, barack obama as the democratic presidential nominee carried new jersey independents 51%-47%. in virginia , it wasn't even close. republican bob mcdonnell swamped his democratic opponent creigh deeds , winning a substantial majority in a state that just one year ago helped propel barack obama to the white house .

    >> i never dreamed that i'd have the chance to follow in the footsteps of thomas jefferson and patrick henry , and yet, you've made that come true for me tonight.

    >> reporter: the republican victory was across the board, reversing obama's winning formula. in 2008 , mr. obama carried independents in virginia , 49-48. on tuesday, mcdonnell won independents by a whopping 31 points. and in what could be a worrisome sign for democrats in 2010 , turnout among young voters and african-americans, two of president obama 's strongest support groups in 2008 , was dramatically down. just 10% of voters in virginia this year were under the age of 30. in 2008 , that number was 20%. meredith, the interesting house race up in new york 23, a bit of a consolation prize for democrats. in an upset, bill owens got 49% of the vote. the conservative, after chasing out the republican, got 45%. believe it or not, the republican ended up playing spoiler with just 6%. and in something that ought to scare incumbents across the country, michael bloomberg , after spending $100 million, was only able to eke out a five-point victory over a candidate that seemed to barely spend a dollar. it was a stunning almost loss for the mayor of new york city .

    >> yeah, scary moment, i'm sure. chuck todd , thank you very much. david gregory is moderator

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