This is not just about politics. Imagine telling a Midwestern farmhand who has never heard of acupuncture that his chronic pain can be alleviated by having a Chinese doctor stick needles in him. That would probably make about as much sense to him as saying that the best way for the government to deal with a huge budget deficit is to spend more money -- assuming he isn't reading Paul Krugman's column regularly.
In particular, facts must fit existing frame-circuits fixed in the brain if they are to be comprehended. Even when you negate a frame, that frame is still activated. For example, when President Richard Nixon told the American people "I am not a crook," they all thought of him as a crook. He activated the "crook frame," with himself in the role of the crook. This is why attack works a whole lot better than denial. Frames don't work by formal logic. In logic, negation wipes out what is negated. With frames, negation strengthens what is negated. If you come up to a friend and whisper in his ear out of the blue, "Your wife is not having an affair," you're raising the issue of whether his wife is having an affair. Likewise, in saying, "I'm against tax relief," one is still framing taxation as an affliction to be relieved.
As much as we might like to think that policy drives politics, in my own research for the book Moral Politics, I found that moral frames were at the top of the political frame hierarchy. The activation of a political frame activates, and strengthens, its moral framing.
The reason is simple. All politics rests on morality. Political leaders propose policies -- whether regulating large banks or loosening deportation laws-- because they believe them to be right. The problem, of course, is that conservatives and liberals have different ideas of what is right: from same-sex marriage to machine-gun ownership. They have different moral systems, each characterized by neural circuitry in the brain. And it's exactly this difference in moral systems that explains why liberals tend to speak of "low-information voters" while conservatives don't.
Progressives believe that democracy starts with caring about one's fellow citizens and acting responsibly for both oneself and other citizens. Government is seen as a means for the public to provide things crucial for a decent private life and private enterprise: roads, bridges, infrastructure of many kinds, public education, public health, public transportation, publicly funded research, a judicial system, police, firefighters, a patent agency, public parks, and so on. Conservatives, especially the extreme conservatives now in office, aren't necessarily against many of these things, but they see government as preserving the liberty to act as one wishes and as secondary to individual responsibility; moreover, they see public services for individuals as better run by minimally restricted, profit-maximizing private enterprise.
Yet liberals believe that if conservative voters only had more information, they would recognize liberal values as objective and universal -- they would turn off Fox News and unite to end global warming, support universal health care, back unions and women's rights, and so on. Obviously, they don't. And this means to liberals that conservative populists have character flaws that lead them to become low-information voters who screw things up for everyone. Unsurprisingly, conservatives see this as elitism, just the kind of coastal snobbery that they hate.
Many conservatives have a view of democracy diametrically opposed to that of liberals. They see democracy as giving them the liberty to pursue their own interests without necessarily being responsible for the interests of others. They believe in personal, not social, responsibility. They are therefore unlikely to argue that a lack of factual information leads to the material harm of others. Instead, they court LIVs with a conservative moral argument: Their liberty must be protected, and liberals are trying to take it away by going after their gun rights, private property rights, rights to run their businesses as they choose, and so on.