The TP's did this to themselves, they were at the peak of their terror in the GOP during Healthcare debates. I'd say they really didn't need to win healthcare but show their power and intimidate the Old Guard in the GOP, which they did.
IF they had kept to the message of taxes, E-Vile Gubmint, and the nanny state- well the nanny state for anyone under 65, they would have been better served.
But like the now out of favor neo-cons the TPs just had to make social issues an issue when it is the economy Stupid. They didn't just want to honor 'the family' they wanted to beat down anything else, wanted to control sexuality and seemed hell bent on returning women to a 1950's 'ideal'. They wanted to keep the 'right' to marriage just a right for hetros. Throw in some legitimate rape and many who would have voted for Willard saw TP over reach as a worse deal than the beginning of healthcare reform.
I think the GOP should shorten their primary process and REALLY limit debate prior to naming their candidate. The Party of Freedom is ill served by open and free wheeling debate. It was a circus as the flamer of the month rose and fell as the TP darling. Senator DeMint was a watery fart this election cycle. He turned away from the Presidential elections to 'concentrate' on making the Senate a GOP lead chamber. Instead of winning more seats the GOP LOST seats!
The TP can still be a power of sorts, but the backlash from the Old Guard could be as vicious as the attacks on moderate GOP politicians was prior to this election. Would be interesting if the TPs end up the party of the more rural states and the GOP and Democrats fight for the more populous ones. That would give the TP's a lot more power in the Senate than their numbers would allow elsewhere.