Try the new, improved Hartford Courant digital edition today

Gary Peters

GOP triumph tempered by hard problems, now and in 2016

Republicans are waking up Wednesday morning with victories to celebrate but sobering realities to ponder. Winning control of the Senate after eight years of trying is a big prize, made more sweet by the fact that only two years ago, the party seemed on the ropes. Republicans also expanded their ranks in the House and, pending several late races, could end up with their biggest majority since Harry S. Truman left the White House. But even before the votes were counted, some of the GOP's leading strategists had begun to warn that those victories could blind Republicans to hard problems that the 2014 campaign had done almost nothing to solve. The barriers to a Republican victory in a...