When the dust settles after Tuesday's midterm elections, Republicans will maintain control of the House of Representatives in the next Congress, CBS News projects.
Heading into Election Day, the GOP had a 233-seat majority, while Democrats held only 199 seats. After Tuesday, Republicans will hold at least 226 seats, while Democrats will hold at least 171. A number of races have not yet been called as returns continue coming in across the country.
The results are no great surprise - most analysts believed the GOP would pad its majority by several additional seats - and they could be overlooked amid more intense focus on competitive Senate and gubernatorial contests. But they are important in their own right, guaranteeing President Obama will face at least one Republican-controlled chamber of Congress in his final two years in office.
National exit polls reflected an advantage for Republicans among all-important independent voters, who broke for the GOP over Democrats by 53 to 43 percent. In a strange twist, the gender gap actually worked to the benefit of Republicans, as men supported them in slightly higher numbers than women supported Democrats.
Concerns about the economy and fears of about government overreach helped the GOP. Over three-quarters of voters nationally said they were worried about the economy, and 57 percent of those same voters voted Republican in their local House contest. Over half of voters said they would prefer a government that does less, and just under half said that health care reform has gone too far.
Nationally the vote was closely split between Democrats and Republicans, in part due to voter dissatisfaction with both elected branches of government. 60 percent said they were either angry or dissatisfied with congressional Republicans and 58 percent said they felt that way about Obama.