Republicans have largely based their successes in House elections since 1992 on grabbing the low hanging fruit of white, conservative southern seats held by Dems--either by beating them or by taking open seats. That happened this year as well: the GOP took 3 such seats in North Carolina (and a fourth is heading to a recount), one in Arkansas, one in Kentucky, and one in Oklahoma. That accounts for 6 of their 10 pickups (the others were redistricting-related wins in western Pennsylvania, northern Indiana, and upstate New York plus winning both of the incumbent on incumbent battles). But that leaves them basically no more winnable seats in the South.
Assuming Allen West's crazy goes away as expected and Mike McIntyre survives his recount in NC-07, the total partisan split in the political south (the Confederacy plus Kentucky and Oklahoma) will be 108-41 GOP. The 41 Democrats are as follows:
-19 heavily Dem African-American concentration seats (VA-03, NC-01, NC-12, SC-06, GA-02, GA-04, GA-05, GA-13, FL-05, FL-20, FL-24, AL-07, MS-02, TN-09, LA-02, TX-09, TX-18, TX-30, TX-33);
-6 heavily Dem Latino concentration seats in Texas (TX-15, 16, 20, 28, 34, 35);
-11 other mostly urban heavily Dem districts (VA-08 and 11 (NoVa D.C. suburbs), NC-04 (Research Triangle), FL-09 (Dem parts of Orlando and surrounding areas), FL-14 (Tampa), FL-21, 22, and 23 (Dem South Florida), TN-05 (Nashville),
3.KY-03 (Louisville), TX-29 (East Houston);
-2 competitive Latino districts trending our way that we just picked up: TX-23 and FL-26;
-1 competitive seat in Palm Beach we just picked up (FL-18); and
-2, count 'em, one two traditional conservative white Democrats defending hostile territory (the sort of seats that have comprised most of the R pickups over the past 20 years): McIntyre in NC-07 and John Barrow in GA-12. And if McIntyre loses his recount, it's just Barrow. Those two will remain targets. And the three freshmen who grabbed swing seats will likely get a decent challenge in 2014, but if they survive that, they're probably safe--particularly Garcia in FL-26. Otherwise, we are done with defending the South. Pretty remarkable.