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Boehner now has perhaps toughest job in Washington

The re-election of the president and success of the Senate Democrats means that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, now has the hardest job in Washington.

House Republicans may even add to their ranks tonight. And they are going to ask Boehner for the farm. They didn't get what they wanted in the last Congress and they're going to demand answers this time around. And the makeup of the House Republicans will be more conservative.

There is a conference call with rank-and-file Republicans on Wednesday afternoon. And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is purportedly crafting a letter to fellow chamber Republicans asking them in part to temper their expectations.

Boehner struggled at times to get votes for major issues: avoiding a government shutdown, hiking the debt limit, passing a transportation bill. The House never could get the votes on a farm bill. And Boehner often leaned on Democrats on those big issues.

The current House breakdown is 240-190 with five vacancies. That meant Boehner could only lose 25 votes of his own before he needed to turn to the Democrats for help.

And 25 votes isn't much when 59 Republicans abandoned him in April 2011 on a package to avert a government shutdown.

More than 100 Republicans said no to a November 2011 bill to fund the government. Sixty six Republicans cast nay ballots in August 2011 to raise the debt ceiling. There were 91 GOP no's on a February bill to extend the payroll tax cut.

And 52 Republicans voted against a bill to pay for the nation's transportation programs in June.