“Majorities are elected to do things, and if they become dysfunctional, the American people will change what the majority is,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a House deputy majority whip and a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, told The Hill…

Democrats need to net 17 districts to take back the House in 2014, widely considered a significant hurdle to overcome.

But the party has identified “30 districts where the [GOP] incumbent [won by] less than 10 percent and an additional 18 districts that we think can perform better” in a non-presidential election year, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said recently.

And it’s in those districts — where Republicans don’t have a deep base of voters to rely on — that a repeat disaster like the fiscal-cliff fight could matter.