“It’s not the same Republican party,” said Virginia Representative Donald McEachin. “Trump chased away a lot of moderate Republicans, so it’s a much smaller party.”
It is difficult to overestimate the extent of the Republican Party’s political decline in the great American metropolis. While Republicans have long been associated with rural, Conservative voters rather than urban constituencies, the G.O.P. made a point of recruiting serious candidates even in democratic strongholds like New York City and California. The party won angry victories with some frequency by attacking the Democrats over seemingly unsolvable problems such as violent crime, high taxes and wasteful spending.
And Republicans were rewarded with a series of leaders who convinced not just their constituents but the whole country that their party was capable of handling the toughest jobs in government. At the turn of the 21st century, Republican mayors ruled cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and a motorist could drive from Pittsburgh to Provincetown, Massachusetts without entering a state with a Democratic governor.
Since then, Joseph J. Lhota, the former M.T.A. Chairman, Republican nominee for New York City Mayor in 2013, of the G.O.P. as a force in metropolitan politics “completely disappeared”.
“That is not sustainable. It just isn’t, ”said Mr Lhota. “There was a time when Republicans sat at the table when democracy laboratories were discussed, and there is no better place for democracy laboratories than big cities and big states.”
Lanhee Chen, a former policy advisor to Mitt Romney, said it was obviously “not healthy” for Republicans to write off so many important parts of the country. Mr. Chen, who lives in California, is considering campaigning for state scrutiny in 2022.
“Competition and competition for the market of ideas is an important thing for the party in Texas and Missouri, of course, but also in California and New York,” said Chen.