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Republicans Projected to Preserve Control of House

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner and his Republican colleagues will secure enough seats to retain their majority, winning at least 218 seats in the House of Representatives, according to a projection of election results by ABC News.

For Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, the election is a missed opportunity to regain control of the lower chamber, despite 62 contests without an incumbent. Republicans fought district by district to maintain their numbers.

Over the past year, Republicans were bullish as they predicted modest gains on Election Day. While Democrats may be able to cut slightly into the GOP's 25-seat majority by the end of the night, most congressional watchers predicted the outcome long before voters issued their preference at the polls Tuesday.

"Americans were unwilling to hand the speaker's gavel back to Nancy Pelosi because her party chose to double down on the same failed policies that caused her to lose it in the first place," Rep. Pete Sessions, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, wrote in a statement. "Just as in 2010, our House Republican candidates listened to the American people and rejected the Democrats' tax-and-spend agenda that threatens the American Dream."

Among some of the most competitive races, ABC News projected that Republican candidate Andy Barr defeated Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Ben Chandler, who was seeking his sixth term. Barr rebounded from a 600-vote loss in 2010.

Following another bitter defeat, Pelosi must now decide what her future holds. Aides insist that she will serve out her term in the 113th Congress, but it is premature to say whether she will try to keep her position atop the Democratic Caucus.

"Nobody knows what she wants to do. It's up to her," one House Democratic leadership aide said Tuesday. "She has it as long as she wants."

Earlier this week, Boehner, R-Ohio, told Politico that during the lame-duck session, Republicans will not budge on their resistance to tax increases even if Obama wins and Democrats hold on to the Senate.

"We're not raising taxes on small-business people," he said. "We'll have as much of a mandate as [President Obama] will -- if that happens -- to not raise taxes. He knows what we can do and what we can't do -- I've been very upfront with him about it going back over the last year and a half."

The House returns to session Nov.13.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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