The Republicans still don't realize it yet, but the 2012 election changed everything. The biggest loser in the election wasn't Mitt Romney, it was Ronald Reagan. If we consider Reagan's election to be the end of the era of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, this election was the end of the tea party wing of the Republican Party. The difference is that the liberal wing of the Democratic was arguably moving America forward too fast for the people to accept. The Tea Party was not only moving us too fast, but moving us in the wrong direction. They wanted to take us back to the early days of our country, someplace we've already been and didn't especially like (plutocracy, a small middle class, long hours with no benefits for workers, racism, women with little say in their reproductive needs, etc.).
The re-election of President Obama utterly destroyed the right's insistence that the majority view Obama as an ineffective, even illegitimate President, who destroyed our economy, and all those other shrill, outrageous accusations they leveled at him. Here are two anecdotes that reinforce my feeling that the right's looniness is turning off key voters.
The right lives in one of the most impenetrable bubbles ever created. There are whole states of people who look like each other, think like each other, worship the same right-wing God, and get their news from the same hard-right sources. They actually came to believe they are the true Americans, and that they are superior - in numbers, intelligence, patriotism, and work ethic - to the effete, lazy, multi-culture-embracing, worldly, "takers" in the cities and on the coasts. Their sense of entitlement was so complete that they actually felt comfortable going to great lengths to prevent those they consider inferior Americans from even voting! Their hubris was so great that they actually took all the polls from expert polling organizations with years of experience, and changed them to fit their fantasy world! Yes, they were so much smarter than the experts, who as everyone knows must make them liberals, that they actually believed these "unskewed" polls. They were certain of victory.
Their bubble has now been burst. Their hot-button issues that once energized their base is now energizing the left. Suddenly huge numbers of people who don't like politics and pay little attention to it have awakened this year and realized that the loony Republicans are intent on protecting the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, and are even intensely anti-woman.
The press is noticing that the greater anger is not coming from the right anymore but from the left because compassionate, common sense people are catching on to just how extreme - even dangerous - the radical right has become.
In the coming year you will see the press becoming more and more critical of the right. You will see the Democrats become more confident going after the loony right and become more successful because they know the people are behind them. As the economy improves it will gather steam, revenues at all levels of government will increase and there will finally be money for infrastructure spending which will bring down unemployment.
The Democrats can still botch this of course, but I'm more confident after this election that they realize the people are on their side.