In a series a blog posts, I have criticized the idea that Obama's election and the expansion of Democratic control in Congress means that the nation has swung to the left and that the Democrats can use their power to implement a very liberal agenda (see these links: Democrats and Social Conservatism; Sober Look at a Democratic Sweep; and 2008 Is Not 1964). This argument overlooks: (1) the lack of a coherent liberal ideology among the new "Obama Generation" of voters; (2) the fact that McCain led Obama in many polls prior to the Wall Street implosion; (3) that Democrats have only won three presidential elections since 1964; (4) that even in blue states, like California, Democrats still embrace socially conservative agendas; and (5) many new Democrats in Congress will come from conservative states and have run on conservative political platforms.
I have also observed that most of the commentators I have noticed announcing the death of old white male heterosexual power are members of that very demographic. Women, people of color, gays and lesbians, and the poor are far more guarded about the prospect for sweeping change in the lives of disadvantaged people. A couple of news articles confirm (at least anecdotally) that people of color remain cautious in their optimism surrounding the election; many of them do not even want to allow themselves to believe that Obama will win, despite his lead in the polls. They certainly have not predicted that the nation has fundamentally rejected conservatism. For further analysis, see the following articles: New York Times and Dallas Morning News.