Trump’s fight with sanctuary cities is part of his rural strategy

In 2016, Trump lost the largest metropolitan counties by a bigger margin than any Republican presidential candidate in modern times. In 2018, House Republicans were routed in suburban districts not only in metropolitan areas already trending toward Democrat — such as the suburbs of Denver, Philadelphia, Seattle and northern Virginia — but also in places that had still leaned toward the GOP, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Richmond and even Oklahoma City.

But rather than looking to rebuild bridges with these growing population centers, Trump appears determined to use them as a foil to energize his predominantly non-urban base.

“He wants to portray cities as alien to the two-car garage in Naperville,” outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told me in an interview, referring to a suburb west of his city. “They want to make the soccer mom more scared.”

Big city mayors mostly greeted Trump’s public musings about…



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