Election 2014

Ascendant GOP Faces Challenge of Defining Itself

And so does the donkey party

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Now, the Republicans will have to live up to the expectations — and see if they can get on the same page.

They didn't just have a marginally good night on Tuesday — the GOP had a huge night, easily winning control of the Senate. They're on track to expand their House majority to historic levels. And they're winning governors' mansions, too, with some of their most vulnerable incumbents hanging on against the odds…

Republicans are going to have to figure out how to manage their own internal tensions.

Conservative activists are not going to be interested in small ball — the kinds of little legislative victories that could help the Republicans keep the Senate for more than two years. They're going to want the GOP to pick big fights with Obama, and give the voters the clearest possible choice in 2016.

They want the GOP Senate to do everything it can to repeal Obamacare, fight regulations across the board, and hold the line against immigration reform — setting up a likely clash if Obama moves ahead with his expected executive order on immigration.