Sen. Mitch McConnell also claimed that Republican voters delivered a mandate for the President (not Republicans) to change course, remarking "Now it’s time for the President to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely-divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office."
ThinkProgress, however, notes an interesting issue regarding the Republican House of Representatives.
Although a small number of ballots remain to be counted, as of this writing, votes for a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives outweigh votes for Republican candidates. Based on ThinkProgress’ review of all ballots counted so far, 53,952,240 votes were cast for a Democratic candidate for the House and only 53,402,643 were cast for a Republican — meaning that Democratic votes exceed Republican votes by more than half a million.Imagine, as looked possible last week, that President Obama had won reelection through an electoral vote victory but a popular vote loss of 590,000. What would Republicans be saying about his "mandate?"
...The actual partisan breakdown of the 113th Congress will be very different, however. Currently, Republicans enjoy a 233-192 advantage over Democrats, with 10 seats remaining undecided. That means that, in a year when Republicans earned less than half the popular vote, they will control a little under 54 percent of the House even if Democrats run the table on the undecided seats.
Also, how does the Senate get to be "closely-divided" when Democrats and independents who caucus with the Democrats have 55 percent of the seats while the House is "Republican-controlled" with a similar majority of 55 percent of the seats?
Divided government is a reality, but it's hard to see much of a strong "mandate" for a party that represents a minority of Americans.
An additional lesson here is that non-partisan redistricting reform is sorely needed throughout the country.