Has the rightward shift laid the groundwork for a new Republican majority?If the conservative trend among the electorate endures for a decade, yes, then Republicans will be back in the driving seat in American politics. But the conservative trend from 2006-8 was not the result of the gradual erosion of the liberal-moderate majority, but of the failure of the Obama administration to stem the downturn that began in 2008. If the economy revives, or if it doesn’t, and if a Republican president and Congress take office in 2012 and fail to revive it, then the trend toward conservatism will halt, and you may even see the kind of shift leftward that took place in 2006 and 2008. Of course, Cost could argue that the kind of programs that Republicans are proposing will revive the economy and enjoy the same kind of popularity as social security. I have my doubts that these programs, which mostly consist of turning back the Keynesian clock, will do the trick.