How can Republicans win in cities?

The "urban-rural divide" is increasingly becoming shorthand for a Democrat-Republican divide. Cities are ruled by Democrats who mock "flyover country" and the people who live there as unsophisticated and uneducated rubes. Rural areas (and a lot of suburbs) are solid strongholds of Republicans who view cities as overloaded with crime, drugs, and condescending socialists.

The North Carolina Republican Party held its state convention this weekend, and R Street Institute's Shoshanna Weissman gave a speech about "campaigning in cities, what's worked, what hasn't, and policies that win."

Republicans are losing the city vote. Once the party of the big city mayor, Republicans now control only three mayoral seats and fewer than roughly 20% of the city council seats in the top 25 most highly populated cities. It’s a trend that doesn’t bode well for the party’s future electoral success, given the tremendous population growth and density in urban centers.

Weissman has written about this topic for years.

Among the changes the GOP must make are no longer ignoring cities, more fully embracing our founding principles, and including more heart in our messaging.
What unites the GOP in principle includes free markets, the Constitution, and the promise of opportunity. These are principles too often absent from the leadership of city governments.

One of the most interesting things I've noticed since arriving in Asheville is how bipartisan anti-growth sentiments run. Whether I'm discussing new development or road projects I hear the same opposition from progressives and conservatives. Is this an area where the local can make some gains?

I'll talk with Weissman today at 3:30

Pete's Prep: Monday, Jun 10, 2019

  • Carol Roth writes at FOX.com: "A restaurant serving women first is a sign of class, elegance and respect. If you are offended by that, have a hard think about why you are so angry."
  • Last week, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported how the City Council is split on whether to sue to block district elections. Since then, Councilman Vijay Kapoor announced his opposition to a lawsuit.
  • The AC-T also has a story on potential regulation on the zip line industry - including civil and criminal penalties if people get injured using the gear.
  • A judge ordered the Hertford, NC city council to separate two members with a physical wall - after one politician punched the other.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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