Tonight's vice presidential debate will dramatize a political pattern that doesn't get much attention: the parties have not contested the cities for years. Paul Ryan epitomizes the ideal of “small-town conservatism,” while Joe Biden comes from hard-scrabble, blue-collar Scranton, Pennsylvania. Has the national GOP given up on the cities? Is there good reason, since the suburbs are where populations are growing? What about those few big-city Republican Mayors? Does their success indicate that their party is missing what could be a decisive contingent of voters?
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