In the survey below you get a sense of the cynicism, doubt and discouragement many people feel about our political system. In my own focus group research I found a lot of the same feelings with one important distinction: the people expressing this kind of non specific negativity are usually people who don't know a politician personally, haven't been active lobbying for their association and haven't communicated meaningfully with a politician. People who have gotten engaged in politics, even though they didn't get what they wanted, often feel very positive about the process and politicians.
A parallel finding is that most people get most of their information about politics and politicians through the news media. Most of that information is about campaigns, which are by nature negative, confrontational and contentious and that turns off many people.
To activate volunteer advocates, help them understand the difference between campaigns (before election day) and lobbying (after election day).