Democrats may pick up a handful of seats in Tuesday's voting. They had hoped to add the 25 seats needed to win control of the chamber. But those coattail dreams faded as Obama's lead over GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shriveled.
The GOP also helped itself with a robust redrawing of congressional districts after the 2010 census to protect its incumbents.
This is the first re-election for the 87 House GOP freshmen of 2010 who came to office fueled by tea party support. Only around two dozen of them faced competitive races.