GOP Sees Error of its Ways in Approach to Cities

In his first substantive statements regarding his ticket's failings during the recent Presidential election, GOP leader Paul Ryan "is looking to the nation’s big cities" as the cause.
DonkeyHotey / Flickr

In the run-up to the Presidential election much was made about the Republican Party's seeming indifference to urban issues and urban voters, and the reluctance of either candidate to address topics effecting the nation's cities in any of the Presidential debates. Well it turns out such assessments are being echoed by GOP leaders such as Representative Paul D. Ryan, the vice presidential nominee, as they try to explain their recent defeat, report Michael D. Shear and Jennifer Steinhauer.

"'The surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race,' Mr. Ryan said in an interview with WISC-TV back home in Wisconsin on Monday before returning Tuesday to Capitol Hill for the start of the lame-duck session."

"Mr. Ryan's concerns follow on the heels of other Republicans who argue that the party's lack of appeal to minority voters - many of whom live in the nation's largest urban centers - has made it more difficult to win the presidency," say Michael D. Shear and Jennifer Steinhauer. While Obama did win the urban vote overwhelmingly, the writers throw water on the theory that the urban vote made the difference in this election: "there is little proof from the results of the election that urban turnout over all played the decisive role in swing states like Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Wisconsin, where Mitt Romney lost in Mr. Ryan's suburban home district."

Perhaps Ryan is conflating the GOP's failure to capture much of the country's non-white vote with a misplaced belief that minority voters only reside in cities. At least that's the opinion of Representative Michael M. Honda, Democrat of California, who commented "that 'urban' is 'just another code word for people of color.'"

"But a lot of people of color live in the countryside, too," he added. "He is just grabbing at straws to justify his loss."

 

Full Story: Ryan Sees Urban Vote as Reason G.O.P. Lost

Comments

Comments

I think the GOP needs to keep searching

much has been made about the race issue in party-line voting, but I think the Republican party is sort of missing what is really happening. They are losing by relatively small margins and simultaneously being "held hostage" by the social conservative evangelicals. I would venture to guess Romney would have won if he had been a pro-choice, pro Federal funding for Planned Parenthood, non-LDS, moderate, non-denominational Christian. The other problem is that some of their constituencies are strong financially, but targeted in numbers - the military industrial complex comes to mind. (i.e. unless you work for Lockheed Martin, why wouldn't you want to cut defense?). The other thing that hurt them is that they are sort of "fighting" for people that don't support them, like the very wealthy. I would venture to say a lot of people who make from $250,000-$1MM tend to vote Republican, but those above $1MM and especially well above that level, tend to vote democrat. It doesn't make sense to alienate much of the nation's voters with a tax policy that many of the ones you're alienting them for don't support.

A legitimate 3rd party or more would be nice, but most people seem brainwashed into the two-party stranglehold we have now and the red state blue state crap just perpetuates it. Barring any changes there, it would be healthy for the nation for the Republicans to re-evaluate some of their positions. Any one party getting too much power for long periods is not a good thing, in my opinion.

urban vote does matter

but if the GOP thinks this only means appealing to "people of color" then they're not going to win a national election any time soon. Romney lost big in metro areas and cities with a wide range of demographics (even ones with largely white populations). Paul is right that they need to reassess their platform on urban issues, but that would mean a major shift in the party's ideology as their current platform is extremely anti-urban.

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