It is true that a large enough number of American voters are not very bright about politics and vote based on, well, immaterial bullshit. The thing about that statement is that it only covers a segment that alway has and always will vote that way and are insufficient to largely impact an election. The GOP calls them their base and the percentages generally seem to hang around 27%. Yep, GWB's undying lovers.
You have a Democratic base of thirty some percent and that leave somewhere around 40% of the electorate up for grabs - sort of. These folks aren't a monolithic block, they're all over the political spectrum and a good portion aren't really available as switch voters but that still leaves an election swaying number that are splitting up fairly evenly. That really shouldn't be the case now and should not have swung to the GOP in '10. While the GOP is quite good at lying and getting away with it, the blame for this situation lies with the Democrats.
It is true that the GOP is able to support its plutocratic agenda with its social bullshit, but there is a piece of this that seems to get missed - the record of the Democratic Congress 06-10 is only barely less plutocratic/corporatistic than the GOP. Just barely. Yes, quite a bit more minority conscious than the GOP - what this gets down to is that the policies enacted have effect on maybe 1% of the voters, gay soldiers get to serve openly and the very wealthy win and win.
There is a large group who don't register or seldom vote who will state, "they're just politicians and there's no difference between them." I'd say "there's no difference" is not accurate as exaggeration - I will not argue that there is not enough difference; I will, in fact, argue that this is the damn problem. It is not the problem with a fair portion of the Democratic Caucuses, it is the problem with enough to make it the Party's problem. The GOP seems to have no problem with being the plutocrat's Party and running right as fast as the media legs will let them. If the Democrats flat out admitted it and bragged about it - there'd be no Party after the explosion, but a handful of members ensure that it is the result. This gets you some damned Democrats getting on TV and pouting 'let Bain alooonnnne.'
How in the hell do you expect to convince a lot of American voters that you're on their side when you demonstrate that you're not? How in the hell has the winning argument been that you have to be more like the GOP to win when it has not been demonstrated by anything other than emotions?