Liberals ARE NOT half of America. Likewise conservatives are not the other half.
What you'll find is that the country is about 75% moderate (with a blend of liberal and conservative viewpoints), 10% liberal, and 15% conservative.
That's why the democratic party can't elect a president.
Oh yes I did say that.
Clinton was elected to his first term because Ross Perot split the "republican-leaning" moderate group. In his second term, he capitalized on momentum from his first term (largely driven by Reagan's economic juggernaut), combined with an ineffective opponent (Bob Dole). The
lost more than Clinton won. Likewise in the last election, ineffective democratic challenger Kerry lost more than incumbent Dubya won.
The 75% of moderates want a hopeful president that will make their lives better. While there is some party affiliation, they'll cross lines where it serves their purpose. When things are good economically, they want a republican to make it better and keep it rolling. When the economy turns bad, they want a democrat to set up a softer landing. When the world is a safer place, they want a hopeful democrat to make it even better. When the world turns bad, they want a republican to keep them safe.
The democratic party lost touch with their constituency in the 70s, when (in the McGovern era) they went from the moderate party of the common man to being dominated and driven by it's most liberal elements. I'd offer that today Harry Truman would be a republican. They're trying to act like moderates (i.e. Hillary's media "makeover" from liberal to moderate) but they're still extreme.
Trust me, I know of what I speak. I grew up in a heavily
democratic family (my godfather was a democratic speaker of the OH state house, my father was a democratic party precinct captain, I've personally met Hubert Humphery, Bobby Kennedy, and a host of local and state
). I watched my family grow more and more alienated as the democratic party grew more and more liberal (Micheal Dukakis? Geraldine Ferraro? come on.) and turned it's back on it's core constituency more and more.
This has resulted in
counting on habit and ignorance to win elections. Mention eliminating the "straight party ticket" voting option and who panics? They count on automatons following union instructions and inner-city misinformation (just last week churches in Detroit told members that they Dick DeVos would take away their right to vote) to drive votes.