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Elections, it's been said, have consequences, and last night's local contests were no exception. The Republican losses come at an awkward time in the politics of the American economy — specifically, the tax overhaul plan the GOP's trying to get through Congress. And even more specifically, in light of the results last night, making the math work.

Damian Paletta, senior economics correspondent for the Washington Post, helped break down the GOP options for the tax plan, but that was before last night's election. We called him up after polls closed to see if that analysis had changed. In his interview with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal, Paletta said that yes, it had. And it all comes down to how well the GOP can convince the middle class that the tax plan will benefit them.

"We're going to see a real focus on trying to make sure that the benefits are understood," Paletta said. "And probably even ratchet back a bit the tax benefits for companies so that they can ensure these benefits for the middle class will be long lasting. The question is, are voters going to believe them?"

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Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal