Clinton is deploying the “They Hate You” strategy that has worked well for Democrats for decades. Policy is almost irrelevant; the point is to convince key groups to turn out in large numbers for Democrats because they’ve been persuaded that Republicans are haters.
Republicans can deny that voter ID laws are about voter suppression till they bore everyone into a coma. It won’t have an impact. But that doesn’t mean they should surrender. What they should be concerned about is not any particular issue but rather their image as the party of haters.
I would love to see all of the Republican candidates staging multiple events in places like Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland. They should be asking what Hillary Clinton proposes to do about improving the climate for small business. They should demand to know what Democrats have done to improve the schools — or rather, draw attention to the fact that Democrats stand in the way of improving education for poor kids. They should demand accountability for the millions of taxpayer dollars intended for poor families that wind up in the pockets of the well-connected and the well-heeled, while praising the work of churches and other private groups.
Even if it doesn’t yield a single new African-American voter, it’s worth doing for two reasons: 1) because it will improve the image of the Republican Party, and 2) because it’s right.