“There is a giant disjuncture between the concerns of the working class and the center of gravity for elite Democratic politicians,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

A center-left electoral coalition also doesn’t automatically mean a progressive majority in national politics. The same exit polls showing a resurgence in liberal identification also showed that self-identified conservatives edged up slightly to 35 percent of the electorate.

The next Senate will feature a record number of women, including new progressive voices such as Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. But Democrats will still be short of the 60 votes needed to close off the blocking maneuvers called filibusters…

Teixeira said in an interview that, despite his bullishness on long-term trends, he is “not that optimistic” about the near-term prospects for progressive change. Progressive policies flourish best in times of robust economic growth, he said: “It’s going to be difficult to do if we continue to have a bad economy.”