The crazy thing about the election, however, is that Republicans could've picked up more. Early polling showed moderate-establishment-type Republicans en route to picking off Harry Reid in Nevada and appointed incumbent Michael Bennet in Colorado, while picking up open seats in Connecticut, and Delaware.
Rather than take their GOP Senate, the teabaggers ousted those establishment-backed candidates in favor of Sharron Angle in Nevada, Ken Buck on Colorado, Linda McMahon in Connecticut and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. They took what would've been a one-seat Republican advantage and gifted Democrats those four seats.
2012 played it in similar fashion. Rather than nominate popular Connecticut moderate Chris Shays, the GOP stuck with Linda McMahon and her boatload of negatives. They nominated crazy fucks Todd Akin in Missouri, while they ousted ultra-safe GOP incumbent Dick Lugar in Indiana in exchange for Richard Mourdock. They might not have won the Connecticut race anyway—plenty of establishment Republicans went down this year at the hand of better Democratic candidates. But I can guarantee that Missouri and Indiana would be Red today had the GOP nominated sane candidates.
So we can safely assume that if the teabaggers didn't exist, Republicans today would be enjoying a 53-47 Senate majority. Instead, they face a 10-seat 55-45 deficit.
Those assholes are obnoxious, but they do have their uses.