I think it's the opposite: contempt for weakness.
People just don't like weak protagonists. They don't like overpowered ones too, but a wimpy everygirl/everyman lead is not something the fans want to relate to, even though being relatable is the entire reason these characters are written that way.
Elena is sweet, sensitive, moral, compassionate and altruistic. She posesses a collection of traits that we were taught we should find aspirational. On the other hand, Damon, Stefan, Caroline and Bonnie are better at kicking ass and getting things done, and that's something we naturally and instinctively find aspirational.
There is a reason why, when talking about female representation, we ask for strong female charcters, not moral female characters.