There is a problem every election where Republicans win the large landmass of the United States, but end up losing the popular vote because urban voters vote for Democrats in droves. The reality is that Republicans do not need to win the urban centers, they just need to lose by less than they do right now. If we think about the urban voters they have problems, and conservatives have solutions. If we consider a few areas where we should be able to target urban voters and peel off at least some of the voters. Yes, there are some voters who will vote their party no matter what, and there are some who want solutions we simply cannot concede to. However, there are some voters in the cities that we could appeal to, and there are particular ways to appeal
- Economy in general. Trump is doing great on this, we need to pump unemployment numbers, low inflation, and wage increases.
- Education. Many inner city schools suck. We can try to fix those school like through no child left behind and common core, or we can simply allow people out of them. Yes, many voters will reject that change, but the fact is those voters are already voting against us anyway. If there are 5% of inner city families that want the option of sending their kids somewhere else and only one party offers it we can pull that many voters. Simple answer “We are not taking any money from any school. Period. We are paying your school to teach your child, and when they don’t we pay someone else to do it.”
- Housing. Housing in urban areas is bloody expensive. Democrats blame the banks and then say if only lending standards were better then everyone would have a perfect house in the perfect area and it would be cheap. We know that is stupid. Let’s propose simpler zoning laws, and require tighter (not loser) lending standards. Texas managed to avoid the bubble largely because it had these two things in place.
- Healthcare. We keep talking in low resolution terms like “free market care” but for somebody who works as a welder they don’t know what that means. Let’s make it simple. Every pharmacy has to post their prices, just like for over the counter medicines. If you aren’t offered an estimate for care you don’t have to pay the bill. So if your doctor says “I want to check you for allergies” and gives you a couple shots and sends a $900 bill you can tell him to jump off a bridge. There are other things that can and should be done (I would argue for licensing reform), but some of this is low hanging fruit.
We are seeing this as an “us vs. them” issue where demographics are the concern, then we talk about how many black or white voters there will be. Let’s lay out the biggest problems that urbanites have and address those problems. Honestly, if you have candidates that look like Mia Love and John James pushing for those specific solutions you might change the loss margin in Wayne county from 40% to 30%. That change alone flips Michigan. It also puts Pennsylvania in play. Some of these are national issues, some are local. However, as a party if we want to win bigger this is where the next battle needs to be. I would also offer a compromise on immigration. This may sound crazy to some, but it would show we don’t hate latinos. The compromise would be simple, after the wall is built (defined as 90% of the border having a barrier meeting at least blah blah blah) all persons who have resided in the United States for more than 5 years are eligible to petition for citizenship. The normalization offer would be predicated not on a date, but on a goal. Push it from the senate and make it thud on the congressional floor. It makes Democrats look unreasonable because you are meeting the populace where they are, and Democrats refuse.
This does not address any social issues. I am not downplaying right to life, on that we never budge. What I am saying is if you want to win you need to fix our margins in urban areas. We need outreach and tailored messages. We also need tailored candidates.