The point is to drown them out with volume.
Politicians aren't out to win a select few, they want the masses. And most people don't care about net neutrality, they're more worried about healthcare, jobs, and even foreign policy.
defying those could cost them their next term.
But that's simply not the case. Most people vote for a given party, even if they don't actually know what the candidate's exact policy is. Because to them, and even some people here, they'd rather vote for a candidate who they think is going to save their job than a candidate who fights conglomerates and monopolies.
The hope is states pass legislation that keep certain principles of net neutrality in place
We've seen time and time again that AT&T and other large telecom companies are able to bully municipalities and even states into a legal monopoly or to prevent these governments from establishing their own ISPs. The cost to the politician is negligible compared to the gains that they could make if they side with the telecom industry.
I have a feeling a few long-sat seats will shift this coming 2018..
It won't be pleas regarding net neutrality that shift seats. It'll be healthcare or the economy that shifts seats, if any seats are going to be shifted. We've seen this time and time again, the people who care about net neutrality, like you and me, are the minority of the populace. No sane politician, certainly one in the Federal congress, is willing to go against the lobbying force of AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, etc, etc, just because that's what a small minority of their constituents want.