The Change Election Awaiting Change

A survey of 2,000 voters taken during and immediately after the November 4, 2008, general election shows that Sen. Barack Obama’s historic victory in the presidential race spearheaded a sea-change election. It marks the end of the conservative era that has dominated our politics since 1980 and the beginning of a new era of progressive reform, driven by an emerging progressive majority.

In responses to a broad range of questions, the repudiation of President George W. Bush, the Republican Congress and the conservatism they championed is clear.

The survey also reveals the consolidation of a new majority coalition and the mandate for progressive reform that Obama and congressional Democrats have. Republicans emerge from this election as an aging, monochromatic, largely regional party, increasingly in the grip of its evangelical base. Democrats are consolidating a governing majority in what is, increasingly, a center-left nation.