"The president was elected on the basis that he was not Romney and that Romney was a poopy-head." - Grover Norquist (ht:Doonesbury)
Just for argument's sake let us accept that Romney was right and that 47% of Americans will always vote against the Republicans because, as "dependent" parasites, they cannot take responsibility for their "own lives"... In other words, they need old age pensions, medical care, good public schools and universities etc. This means that, probably totally unbeknownst to themselves, they are what is known in most other developed countries as "Social Democrats".
What we have learned then in 2012, following the Romney analysis, is how easy it is to turn 47% into 50.6%.
What progressives need to learn is how they can turn 47% into a 60%, that is to say, an absolute majority.
Perhaps the economy and the interrelated complexity of the modern world will do the job by itself. DS