[P]olling data repeatedly suggest that Americans are far more inclined to express liberal than conservative opinions regarding big business, the environment, energy policy and social issues. “That liberals remain on the defensive regarding the accusation that their positions are out of step,” he [Alterman] writes, “is more the product of effective conservative propaganda and credulous reporting than of any genuinely identifiable trends in public opinion.”It's really an awful truth. In general, Americans align much more so with liberals on the issues that affect them most, however time after time we do not see this agreement borne out in elections.
Look, it's not a secret, conservatives / Republicans cling to the wrong views on many issues, and they can't govern for the life of them, but damn can they win elections. Why? Two things: unity and smears. They'll stick together like mindless lemmings, willing to overlook key differences simply to have the advantages that come from a mob. They also are experts at playing dirty and denying (Rove perfected this art), the hit-and-run followed by, "What? Who me? Nope, had nothing to do with it."
And the saddest part is voters fall for it every time. They wake up post-election day and wondered what happened, not realizing many of them gave in to their worst instincts -- exactly what the GOP had hoped. The Dems happen to be on the popular side of many issues but it won't stop fear-mongering and the like from working (once again) to have the public vote against the positions they're for. That said hopefully this time voters have finally learned their lesson and will resist all attempts to manipulate their thinking, thus avoiding the feeling on Nov. 5th that they were collectively hoodwinked.