I'm not always a fan of Politico, but this piece
by Alex Isanstadt does highlight what could turn out to be a real problem for House Republicans: They just elected a bunch of wingnuts
If House Speaker John Boehner can convince them to shut up, the GOP nominates a boring presidential candidate, and 2016 isn't a high turnout presidential election, then the fact that they just elected a class that (in Isanstadt's words) could include "as many as 10 or 20" new congressmen as crazy as Michele Bachmann might not end up being a big problem. Then again, if Boehner were capable of pulling that off, there never would have been a government shutdown in 2013.
Now he's not only got more wingnuts to manage, but Democrats—because they no longer control either chamber of Congress—have even less incentive to bail out Boehner by delivering votes for must-pass legislation. Moreover, given complete Republican control of Congress, the GOP base will expect nonstop wingnuttery from their party.
The good news for Republicans is that they've so heavily gerrymandered the country that they can still hold the House even if they lose a moderate amount of popular support. In 2012, for example, more voters cast ballots for Democratic congressional candidates than Republican candidates, yet thanks to district lines drawn up by Republicans, they still won a majority of seats in the House. The flip side of that is this, however: In a Democratic wave, Republicans are more vulnerable than they would otherwise be because they are spread more thin.
The question is whether a Democratic wave will materialize. That will depend in part on Democrats offering a compelling vision, in part on President Obama delivering as much as he can, and in part on the quality of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. And it also will depend on whether Republicans can keep their crazies in check, and that's something I definitely would not bet on them being able to do.