It's a mistake to take a small majority as a mandate. The GOP did it in 2000 and in 2004 and the Dems did it in 2008. The extreme right and left are shrinking and the parties are just nudging the vast moderate opinion to the left and right. Whichever party wises up, stops kow-towing to its most extreme branch and embraces the center will win. I see the Tea Party dragging the republicans right and the progressives dragging the democrats to the middle. Time will tell.