In my opinion, the Democratic Party is a dinosaur. It has lost the evolutionary battle to the Republicans, and no longer represents a viable entity on the US National scene. Harsh, but true words.
Their power-base has been shrinking since 1976. They have yet to latch onto the new vision that Americans have of themselves. They are a party of the urban dis-enfranchised, minority and university-educated voters, especially if you look at the county-by-county electoral map in the 2004 election.
The Democratic Party, if it is to survive, must abandon the National scene, and return to the local scene to try and survive.