while it certainly rings true at the Presidential level, just the opposite is true at the Senate, House, and state legislature levels. At those levels, the people winning elections are those that stand strongly for principles.
It is the Tea Party that provided the winning margin in the House. It is people like Franken and Warren who gave us the unexpected victories allowing up to hold the Senate.
Americans did not really agree with Reagan's policies, but they LOVED the fact that he had conviction about what he believed. Our biggest problem is a lack of core convictions among the Old Guard in our party. In fact, all of them are post-Roosevelt people, and most of them are post-Vietnam/post-Watergate, and as a consequence they have never had to take a stand on any important issue.
Empty damn suits -- most of them.
My apologies to the heroes in Congress (people like Sherrod Brown, Waxman, Sanders, Grayson, etc -- you know who they are.)