In Wasserman Schultz's case, though, her seat on the appropriations committee will likely be swallowed by the incoming GOP majority.
On top of that, Wasserman Schultz was once considered a likely candidate to take over the reins of the DCCC from outgoing Chairman Chris Van Hollen. But that job will now be going to Steve Israel (NY), who has a tighter relationship with Nancy Pelosi.
That decision didn't come as a huge surprise, but it did raise some eyebrows. Wasserman Schultz is a top Democratic surrogate, and a prolific fundraiser. This cycle alone, she raised over twice as much money for the DCCC than Israel, according to figures provided to TPM by a source.
So what's next for her?
Wasserman Schultz's staff declined a request for an interview. But according to several Democratic sources -- Hill aides and party operatives -- the 2010 election was a setback for Wasserman Schultz, but not exactly her Waterloo.
With a broad donor base of donors, and as vice-chair of the DNC, Wasserman Schultz will still be able to raise a significant amount of money for Democrats. And if she's willing to stay, and if Israel's willing to keep her, she can remain a part of the DCCC leadership (she currently serves as vice chair for incumbent retention).
"Debbie is still hopefully going to stay in the DCCC leadership," said a party official close to Israel. "She's a huge force."
According to Hill aides and a Democratic member, Pelosi is looking into carving out a role for Wasserman Schultz -- to put her and other effective surrogates into higher-profile roles ahead of the 2012 election.