Brad Carson, defeated Democratic Senate candidate from Oklahoma, has an article in The New Republic (via New Donkey) explaining what he thinks to be the cultural problem his party really needs to confront:
"For the vast majority of Oklahomans--and, I would suspect, voters in other red states--these transcendent cultural concerns are more important than universal health care or raising the minimum wage or preserving farm subsidies. Pace Thomas Frank [author of What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America], the voters aren't deluded or uneducated. They simply reject the notion that material concerns are more real than spiritual or cultural ones. The political left has always had a hard time understanding this, preferring to believe that the masses are enthralled by a 'false consciousness' or Fox News or whatever today's excuse might be. But the truth is quite simple: Most voters in a state like Oklahoma--and I venture to say most other Southern and Midwestern states--reject the general direction of American culture and celebrate the political party that promises to reform or revise it."
Basically, don't automatically assume voters are ignorant because their priorities are different. Try to understand why they're different. This is not a call for pandering or insincerely claiming to share the same priorities. Be aware of differences and respect them, even while supporting your own views. It's always easier to either win someone over or get past differences when there's a mutual respect, but no mutual respect will come from one party's condescension toward the other. Also, agreement on every specific issue or set of issues is not necessary for general cooporation.