For the “big picture” about the election (at least the House aspect), I think the vast sea of red on the map of the US below (sourced from cnn.com) says it all. CNN is projecting a final total of 243 Republican house members, and 192 Democrat house members. The preliminary total on election night was 239-186; the 10 remaining contested House seats were all held by Democrats, so CNN apparently projects that 4 of these seats will go to the Republicans, whereas 6 of them will stay with the Democrats. I think this means that the total net gain for Republicans is 64 seats; apparently this large of a reversal of fortunes is historically unprecedented, as is the brevity (4 years) of Nancy Pelosi’s term as Speaker of the House. In just one election, we have gone from the House having the second largest Democrat majority ever to having the largest Republican House majority of all time. (Apparently the largest Democratic House majority occurred during the FDR midterm election blowout in 1938.)
Quoting from an article entitled “Post Mid-Term Election Recap: Tea Party Reflects Americans’ Changing Attitudes”, “The office of the President and the majority in the Senate are controlled by Democrats. The number of Governors and state legislatures has now flipped to Republican majorities. The country, split between two major parties and a growing number of registered independents, chose a broader sharing of political power.” In other words, gridlock is back with a vengeance!