A second problem is that the lack of an appealing personality is not a major reason why half the country has no interest in voting at all. Only credible commitment to substantive change could motivate new registration and turnout, and that could win an election, albeit in a non-traditional way.
A third problem is that the weakness of policy positions is not as clear in countries where the candidates have radically different policy positions. Where one candidate wants to move troops to Afghanistan after waiting a couple fo years, and the other guy wants to wait a couple of years before moving troops to Afghanistan, voters have no choice but to vote on the basis of haircuts, posture, and bible-thumping.
A fourth problem is that, what differences do exist between the policy positions of American candidates are rarely reported in the media. Far more media coverage goes to TV ads, polling, financial reports, and personality nonsense. Voters pay attention to that crap because it's the only thing they're shown, unless they really seek out the rare reporting of substance on the internet or radio.
And the solution of any sort of dumbed down sound byte at all is a solution imposed by the current and alterable state of our communications system, not one imposed by the intellectual abilities of we the people.