This is a copy of a post I made earlier:
I think it is important to point out that the comparisons with Reagan are not about ideology.
I don't think anyone thought Reagan was anything but a conservative--I think the point that is made is at the time Reagan's conservatism represented hope and the american ideal--especially "how we want to view ourselves." Americans like being LIKED. We want to be seen as helpful and generous--which is one reason Bush's approval ratings are SO low.
The Reagan comparison to Obama is more about capturing a wider swath than previously touched. Reagan (like him or not) did a great job of healing the Rep party after Watergate by getting Reps and America to believe in the VALUES he put forth and identified with--"The Shining City on the Hill--It's Morning In America Again"
Obama is capturing that same message--that is why the Obama campaign could stand the chance of winning a Reagan-esque landslide--NOT by capturing (or recapturing) the same voters as Reagan, but appealing to Americans as American's first--party members second.