However well Republicans do tonight, President Obama will retain a veto pen. That means GOP control of both chambers is of limited utility (though not zero) for the next two years.
So one thing for Republicans to root for tonight is a GOP majority that can withstand the likely Democratic gains of 2016. That will be hard to accomplish, now that New Hampshire is off the table.
Up for re-election in 2016 in states Obama won are first-term GOP Sens. Marco Rubio (Florida), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), Mark Kirk (Illinois), Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania). These senators all won in the GOP wave of 2010. Hanging on — especially in Pennsylvania , Wisconsin and Illinois — in a presidential year is a very heavy lift. New Hampshire and Florida won’t be easy, either.
Given how thoroughly Republicans ran the map in 2010, finding new states to pick up seats is very hard.
So if Republicans end tonight on track to control 52 or 53 seats, they start off in a hole for 2016.