Hm . . . looks like Mike Pence is already trying to gin up support for a leadership bid in the wake of a GOP electoral defeat. Pence is a hard-right type, and a proponent of the view that insufficient adherence to small-government orthodoxy is the source of the Republican Party's problems. As an analysis, I think that's pretty daft, and if the GOP really does react to defeat by moving the direction of Pence-ism, I think they'll find it doesn't help them much.

One of the oddities of the way congressional elections work in the USA is that when a party goes down to defeat in House elections, it tends to be the party's most moderate members who lose, precisely because they're likely to represent the rare swing districts. These relative moderates will be paying the price for their failure to in any meaningful way moderate the GOP's agenda. The upshot, however, will be to leave behind a caucus that's even more extreme and thus give the advantage to people like Pence who thinks the Republicans need to move right.

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