McConnell remains one of the most powerful Republicans in Washington, despite the liberals' best efforts to unseat him as a symbolic scalp.
McConnell has disappointed many conservatives during his tenure, but has proven himself as a feisty parliamentarian in the fight over campaign-finance reform and judges. Republicans will certainly look to McConnell to lead the fight on card check during the next Congress.
Dole's loss will be attributed to her decision to run ads calling her opponent "Godless" for taking PAC money from an atheist organization. The campaign was widely thought to backfire, even among North Carolina's staunchly conservative evangelical voters.