Last night I attended a President Associates Dinner at OU where the pollster John Zogby was the speaker.
I've admired Zogby's work and analysis since the early 90's and was excited to hear him. He is one of the good conservatives, the sort of Republican I was.
Zogby lectured on his optimism that America is becoming a better place, mainly because of the trends in young people who are very global in their thinking and relationships, who are very open to diversity, who exhibit more sophisticated and less ideological thinking, and who volunteer at record levels.
He said that the criteria the electorate used in 2008 were these four in this order:
1) They wanted a problem solver
2) Who would use consensus to solve the problems
3) Who could competently manage the government
4) And was a person of good character
He said that the electorate continues to desire consensus problem-solving and that the next election or two will keep this theme. Voters will judge the individual congressperson or Senator with whether or not that individual has helped to solve problems through consensus and, if they haven't, will vote against them. Party and ideology will not be major factors.