NBC News   |  November 02, 2010

David Gregory: Tea Party is elephant in room

The "Meet the Press" host talks with NBC's Brian Williams about the fact that there will be fewer Democrats in the House than in the last 64 years.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we're back live 10:30 eastern time , 7:30 on the west coast . by the way, if our projection holds, it will be the fewest number of democrats in the house in 64 years. let's look at our projection for the house of representatives . tonight's big story thus far, change in control. from republicans to democrats. they needed 39, they'll get that and then some. and then there's the senate, where they needed going into tonight ten seats. they would have to completely run the board to do that now, though, an evening up in the u.s. senate , those two white squares in the middle are independents who, when it comes time to pick a party to caucus with, side with the democrats. david gregory , this means a bit of a split political personality now in washington . and in this country, the voters are speaking and a turn to the right by necessity. what do we mean by right in this case?

>> well, it really is a big story . the elephant in the room tonight is the tea party . that is the elephant. and to tom's point earlier, it is a tea party that wants to rehabilitate the republican party . this is no longer president bush 's republican party . you go back to 2006 . how many people identified themselves as conservative? that number was 32%. tonight, it's 41%. look who's going to washington . marco rubio from florida, tea party backed rand paul in kentucky, tea party backed maybe sharron angle from nevada. what's happening to rural democrats who were more conservative democrats ? it's a blood bath for them in the south and the midwest. so much more conservative, small government republicans now going to washington , brian, with a very clear agenda, government has to get smaller, less interventionalist, and look at paul ryan . he's going to be head of the budget committee , so look for him to start a big fight over earmarks.