The difference is that the working-class whites who formed the Rizzo generation’s political base are much less prevalent now in cities (and the electorate overall). Trump may amass huge margins in places beyond the metropolitan centers, where the sense of cultural and economic loss that he summons is felt most acutely. But he will still face daunting math if Hillary Clinton can maintain, much less extend, Obama’s advantage among the minority and white-collar white voters who increasingly drive urban politics.Clinton seems acutely aware of the opportunity—and necessity—to perform well in cities. She’s showered them with targeted policies, from expanded pre-school to tax credits for investment in struggling neighborhoods. Apart from general promises to support law enforcement and create jobs, Trump has spoken little about cities; asked to describe Trump’s urban agenda, the incoming (Republican) president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently said, “I don’t have a clue.”No GOP nominee since at least Wendell Willkie—and maybe Theodore Roosevelt—has deeper urban roots than the Queens-born Trump, who sometimes seems like a big-city tabloid incarnated. In business, Trump has shouldered his way into real estate markets from New York and Chicago to Washington, D.C. But unless he breaks the Democrats’ political hold on metropolitan America, he probably won’t get any closer to the White House than the hotel he’s building down the street.

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