For Republicans to maintain a strong majority in the House, they knew they had to steal away more Democratic seats in the South. It won't be a complete sweep, but they accomplished that mission.
Most of the gains were unsurprising. In fact, Republicans knew that the only reason they wouldn't be able to poach more seats was because there were so few left to pick up. In 2010, the GOP won 17 seats in the old Confederate states. Republicans may not have had quite the wave this time, but they had another ace in the hole for 2012: the new congressional map in North Carolina.
Drawn by the GOP Legislature in 2011, the map was so Republican-friendly that the GOP easily picked off Rep. Larry Kissell and snatched the seats vacated by retiring Reps. Heath Shuler and Brad Miller. Had Shuler sought reelection, he might have held on but the Democrat who ran in his stead--Shuler's former chief of staff Hayden Rogers--had no real chance of winning the 11th District once the liberal areas around Ashville were axed. Miller had so little chance of holding his seat that he even toyed with running in a primary against his Democratic neighbor, Rep. David Price. The GOP also scored easy pickups after Reps. Mike Ross of Arkansas and Dan Boren of Oklahoma retired, leaving GOP-leaning seats vulnerable.
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