The conventional wisdom of this election is that the democrats have a mandate to govern to a liberal agenda.
After all, by every measure, republicans took an ass-whoopin'.
None the less, the numbers aren't as conclusive.
For instance, there was this tremendous wave of new voters jumping in to vote for "change", yet the presidential election yielded roughly 3 million fewer voters in 2008 than 2004.
That same vote for change netted Obama all of 1% more votes for him than George Bush received in 2004.
In fact, if we were to line up Bush's results from 2004 against Obama's '08, it's a squeeker.
For instance, in Ohio - Bush (2004) 2,859,764 v Obama (2008) 2,618,612.... Bush flips 20 electoral votes.
Of course, Bush wasn't going to get 2.8 million votes in Ohio this year.
I've read in several places that Bush is uncomfortable campaigning while in office. He believes that it's beneath the office of the president. It was obvious that McCain suffered from the same syndrome. But the fact of the matter is, the presidency is a 24/7 campaign for advancing your agenda and beating down challenges.
Conservatives are sick and tired of the 24/7 beat down with no leadership to stand up to what's right and they abandoned McCain this election; plain and simple. Just think what this would have looked like for McCain without Palin.
Why did conservatives abandon McCain?
Take his stance on the Gang of 14, McCain-Feingold, immigration, etc. If you are a conservative what exactly distinguishes John McCain from from his democratic counterparts?
Bush and McCain both had an obligation to exploit the corruption of the CRA/ACORN/Fannie Mae scandals and expose the culprits (Frank, Obama, Schumer). They owed this to the party and they owed it to the country. Instead, they backed into small little talking points without hitting these guys hard.
Win or lose, conservatives are looking for someone to take the fight of conservative ideas to government and for the past 12 years, their leadership abandoned the cause like they didn't believe in those ideas.
The end result, conservatives saw this election as a vote between two democrats. They didn't care what flavor won.