Most Americans don't follow politics very much. A post on MyDD about the failure of the Republican campaign to cause fear of Nancy Pelosi states that the campaign has failed because Americans don't know very much about Pelosi:
The Quinnipiac survey shows that a 53 percent majority of Americans aren't familiar enough with Pelosi to form an opinion about her, the same amount as are unfamiliar with Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist. Close to two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) don't know much about Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid while no numbers were available for either House Speaker Denny Hastert or House Republican Leader John Boehner.
Sniff. It's a little heartbreaking to realize that the wonderful debates we have over politics are largely pointless, if the intention is to affect most Americans. Also, it's pretty clear why people vote on vague emotional feelings. That's all they have to inform them.
But then most Americans don't even vote.