This could be a great advantage for Republican Donald Trump's victory.
Republicans won control of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, giving the party back a presence in Washington and giving conservatives tools to obstruct President Joe Biden's agenda and open investigations. But the slim majority will present immediate challenges for Republican leaders and complicate the party's ability to govern.
More than a week after Election Day, Republicans secured the 218 seats needed to wrest control of the lower House from the Democrats. It could be several days, or even weeks, before the extent of the party's lead is known, as votes are still being counted in some close races.
But they are poised for what could be the party's narrowest lead in the 21st century, similar to 2001, when Republicans held a majority of just nine seats, 221-212, with two independents. That's far less than the landslide victory Republicans had predicted heading into Election Day, when the party had hoped to capitalize on current economic challenges and Biden's declining popularity to reset the agenda on Capitol Hill.
Instead, Democrats showed firm resistance, clinging to moderate and suburban districts in places like Virginia, Minnesota and Kansas. The results could complicate House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy's plans to become speaker after some conservative members have expressed doubts about endorsing him or have imposed conditions in exchange for his support.
Some members of the Republican Party have blamed Donald Trump for the poor results at the polls. The former president, who on Tuesday announced his third bid for the White House, selected some candidates during this year's primaries who did not perform as well as expected in the general election.