I think part of the reason for why the liberals weren’t as successful is two reasons.
1. Conservaatives are for more ready to fight liberals, and be as dirty as liberals to do it.
2. The liberal agenda is unquestionably unmasked and people don’t like it. It’s harder to garner support when you hate what it is you are supporting.
I wish this was as true with Republican Party leaders as it is with the base.