Looking on the bright side, for those of us in that 12% minority of self-described progressives, I'd say these results indicate an opportunity for us to define "progressive" to mean what we think it should mean, since most people don't seem to have any fixed ideas of their own. And if we want "progressive" to be more than a stand-in for "liberal", we should all give some thought to how "progressive" and "liberal" differ - or how we'd like them to differ.
I know exercises like this can seem divisive, and it's certainly not my intention to set self-described liberals and progressives at one another's throats, but there are real ideas at stake, and sometimes a discussion that starts with labels can go much deeper.
Here an attempt at clarification, made while looking forward to others thoughts on the subject:
If there was a golden age for this view, it was the 1950's and 1960's, when even many labor leaders (but probably not many of labor's rank-and-file) came to believe that a tacit agreement have been reached with corporate elites, with generous union contracts tied to large increases in worker productivity, in a "win-win" arrangement that seemingly could go on forever.
Of course, we all know what happened then. Corporate power rose up, crushed the unions, and then took control of our government. Today, there is no "accommodation", no "balance", corporate power is in control, unions are virtually powerless, and every government regulatory agency has been captured by the industry it is intended to regulate, with the Minerals Management Service being a prime example.
You might argue, "That's not progressivism, that's socialism!" And, as an avowed socialist, I'd be hard-pressed to disagree with you. But the discussion I'm trying to initiate here is as much aspirational as it is definitional. That is, we should be talking as much about what we want "progressive" to mean as we do about what progressive, at this point, actually means to anyone (especially since it appears to mean not much at all to most people.)
Most of all, we should avoid the simple-minded task of placing progressives and liberals on a linear "political spectrum", with progressives a few notches to the left of liberal ("They want a 20% cut in carbon emissions by 2020, we want a 40% cut by 2015!") Instead, I'm arguing for a clean break from liberalism because I believe it is a dying philosophy which attempts to restore us to a time that can never be again (and maybe even wasn't there in the first place.) If progressivism has a future, it must be based on repudiating the liberal model and creating a movement for a democratically-controlled economy that can rise up and defeat corporate power, as decisively as corporate power has crushed all else before it. Given the shifting attitudes of our nation's youth, who have only known a world ruled by corporations, there may even come a day when we can call this program "socialism" and be done with it.