"A lot of people who anticipated Republicans would lick their wounds ... there's no incentive for House Republicans to fold," he said.
For now, at least.
Republicans "can't continue to write off demographics," Lawless told CNN.
Over the next several generations, the wave of minority voters -- who, according to U.S. Census figures released earlier this year, now represent more than half of the nation's population born in the past year -- will become more of a power base in traditional Republican strongholds such as Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. That hold will extend across the Southwest all the way to California, experts say.
When that happens, Congress could see the type of political alliances that are now considered rare.
"We're a country that has always presumed male leadership, has always been most comfortable with white male leadership and we're watching the transition of that notion," said Mark Anthony Neal, a cultural and Black studies professor at Duke University.