I took a Hunter Safety course last year with my son to prepare him for the deer season in Wisconsin last fall. That turned out splendidly for him.
One thing the instructor taught us stuck with me. He said (paraphrasing): Look, only about 5% of the population in this country hunts. Opposing us are about 5% of the population who are strongly opposed to hunting for whatever reason. And the other 90% of the population doesn't really have an opinion on the matter. But a significant part of that 90% votes. And when they do vote, they tend to make up their minds based on personal experiences...things they see and hear...things like "hey, I didn't like the way those guys left all their trash behind," or, "I'm a farmer and those damn hunters wrecked my fence and didn't even ask my permission." On the other hand, some people are really put off by people who just come off badly. They hear and think things like "Man that guy sounds like an arrogant little bigot. I'm not going to vote for his side," or "I can't believe how stupid she sounds. I can't be on her side."
That's one way how little 5% things add up and end up mattering.