I noticed the recent Gallup Poll stating that Conservatives are the single largest ideological group with 40% of those surveyed. About 21% of those surveyed considered themselves liberal. This result did not surprise me too much. I think the loudest and most influential among us are liberal, which can give the impression of a profligate majority. I also think this contributes to "conservatives" feeling hopeless about the government and staying home on election day.
The converse of this is that Republicans are not conservatives. If I had my choice between evils, I think I'd rather have my big government in blue than red. I don't want theocratic-morality in my cereal. I would prefer (gulp) the red tape and inefficiencies of a bumbling big brother who may at least have some think tank reports to back him up. The intellectual dishonesty of this argument arises from the fact that we don't really know what the motivations of liberal big government are.
I don't think the Republican party is lost. Unfortunately I subscribe to the belief that we have two teams in this game and you need to root for one. Yes it is a depressing and cynical way to look at our democracy, but I also see the political parties as little more than vehicles. If there is a candidate that can speak well, present good ideas, and has shown a commitment to his/her community, I think the party would have a hard time holding him/her back. (This is my counter-vailing naive opinion). I've yet to be proven correct here, but the combination of skills described above is rare. It amazes me how many aspirational politicians show themselves unable to put two words together when behind a podium. Sadly, this core flaw is what stands between us and good government...because the bad guys are ALWAYS great speakers.