Really interesting, engineer. I'm wondering (from a long way away from the US) what percentage of Republican voters actually feel a similar sense of "disfranchisement" & how permanent these sentiments might be. In a sense, it's not at all a surprising response from the extreme right, having just lost the Bush government, which so clearly mirrored their own ideals.
Since Ronald Regan was inaugurated in January, 1981, Mr. Obama is the first true liberal in the White House. Mr. Clinton could, with charity, be described as a conservative Democrat. Conservative Democrats are more common in his neck of the woods. The largest concentration are in Texas and Louisiana, and Arkansas, where Clinton was governor before running for the White House, is north of Lousiana and northeast of Texas--and politically very similar.
For many people under the age of 50, they've never seen anyone approaching a liberal in the White House (not at least while they were old enough to understand national politics). This is very distressing for them. One of the pillars of recent conservative propaganda is that the United States is basically a conservative nation, has always been a conservative nation, and is the product of conservative values in practice. It doesn't matter that this is not true--they believe it. For them, nothing could be more distressing, more redolent of political disaster than that someone whom they consider to be not just a liberal, but a socialist radical, now occupies the Oval Office. Naturally, mealy-mouthed conservative demagogues of radio and television have whipped this distress up to a fever-pitch.
I don't think that people with such attitudes represent a significant portion of the population, but they do represent a significant minority in the population, mostly because many of them are sufficiently young not to remember Mr. Carter, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kennedy. For the Republican Party to succeed, they will need to come up with slates of candidates who can appeal to moderate Republicans (many of whom very likely stayed home last election day) and
appeal to the hard-core right of the party. As it stands right now, the "leaders" of the conservative movement in the United States are radio and television rabble-rousers who are unlikely to run for office, and who, if they did, would alienate an even larger proportion of the electorate than those who weren't willing to go out and vote for Mr. McCain. And of course, there is Miss Palin.
These people aren't politically insignificant, but for as long as demagogues like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck are the voice of the conservative movement, and Sarah Palin is the only face of the Republican Party, they will politically marginalized. For the Republican Party to succeed in the long term, they will need to come up with candidates who can unite the wary, more moderate members of the party with the hard-core right. This may help them to take some seats in the House of Representatives and perhaps even the Senate. But it is not currently a formula for retaking the White House. Any Republican who could beat Mr. Obama in 2012 will necessarily be a "dark horse" right now, which is to say, someone who no one has yet identified. It certainly won't be Miss Palin, who is considered lunatic fringe by a sufficient number of voters that it is highly unlikely that she could win a national election.