Editor's note: Ted Barrett has covered Congress for CNN for 11 years.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats learned this year how difficult it was to pass bills over a determined GOP minority. Now they are bracing for possible legislative gridlock as Republicans are poised to pick up several seats in Tuesday's election.
Any expectations that a more evenly divided Senate might actually lead to cooperation and compromise could be unrealistic. The animosity and distrust between the two parties is already thick, and likely to get worse as the 2012 presidential campaign gets under way.