In it, but not of it. TPM DC

In the aftermath of the resounding Republican takeover of the Senate this week, most everybody agrees two things are true. The GOP is going to face a much tougher Senate map and electorate in 2016. and the upper chamber is going to be populated for the next two years by a number of prominent Republicans (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio) with presidential ambitions.

Of the three, Cruz is undoubtedly the biggest troublemaker -- and he relishes that role. But by positioning himself to appeal to conservatives in a Republican presidential primary, he could force his more moderate GOP colleagues in blue states to take uncomfortable votes and thereby put their brand-new Senate majority at risk.

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Where incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) struck what was almost a conciliatory tone after his party's sweeping victories on Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) appeared ready for battle while issuing stern warnings to President Barack Obama not to overstep his bounds.

McConnell pledged to fix the Senate and acknowledged that there were "significant areas for potential agreement" with the White House. But Boehner was feisty and confrontational at his Thursday press conference.

Republicans picked up 14 seats in the House, expanding their majority to a historic 246-seat majority, their largest majority in more than half a century. The incoming freshman class includes substantial additions to the party's right wing, including David Brat of Virginia, a tea party candidate who knocked off Boehner's majority leader, Eric Cantor, in the GOP primary.

With that as the backdrop, Boehner sounded like he was in no mood to compromise.

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Going into Election Day, Medicaid expansion advocates had reason to be optimistic. If things broke the right way in a half dozen competitive gubernatorial races, health coverage could come to a million uninsured people.

But as Republicans stormed to victory in almost every notable election in the country, Medicaid expansion might not make any inroads in those states -- and might even lose ground in one place that pioneered a unique expansion plan.

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Leaders of some of the most prominent tea party and conservative-aligned outside groups gathered for a press conference on Wednesday to take a post-GOP-now-controls-the-Senate victory lap. But they also had a much less cheerful message for the new Republican Senate majority: we're watching you.

They all argued that the GOP gains in the Senate, House, and state legislatures were because candidates ran on tea party principles, even when those candidates weren't aligned or even were the targets of tea party groups.

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There were times on Tuesday when it appeared that Republican Ed Gillespie maybe — just maybe — could defeat Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in what would be one of the bigger upsets of the midterm elections. On Wednesday, though Warner seemed to clearly be the winner as he led by 12,000 votes and felt confident in this lead that he could declare victory even though the race still had not been officially called.

But the lingering question remained: How did Warner, who has been deemed one of the safest incumbent Senate Democrats, survive by such a thin margin?

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There is "no possibility of a government shutdown" in the new Republican Congress, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told TIME magazine after his party's blowout victory on Tuesday night.

But the Kentucky Republican simultaneously promised to use government funding bills to rein in President Barack Obama's regulations and executive actions, saying there will be "prescriptions of certain things that we think he ought not to be doing by either reducing the funding or restricting the funding."

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