Democratic Sen. Harry Reid won re-election yesterday in Nevada, and he'll have a Senate majority to preside over -- barely. The GOP is on track for as many as 48 Senate seats, paring the dwindling Democratic majority yet more. Across the Capitol, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, with gains coming on the order of 65 seats (and hey, at one point last night, Nate Silver said it could 75).
From the perspective of actually getting anything done in the next two years, there was perhaps no worse outcome. Republicans don't fully control Congress, so they don't have enough power to be blamed for legislative outcomes. But Democrats don't control the House and they don't have a near-filibuster proof majority in the Senate, so they can't pass legislation. Republicans, in other words, are not left with the burden of governance, and Democrats are not left with the power to govern. Republicans don't have to be responsible, and Democrats can't do it for them.
The good news for Democrats is that gridlock will preserve the reforms made by President Obama and the 111th Congress. Also, America gets to watch the Rand Paul circus for a while.