This is a huge political problem for the Republican party, for two reasons.
First, these voters should find the GOP message of pro-growth and limited government appealing; clearly they once did. The party’s messaging must be off in some way. In all likelihood, the GOP’s increased emphasis on cultural/social issues in the last 30 years has been a drag in these places, but the party should be able to articulate cultural conservatism without alienating these upscale suburbanites. This messaging failure has cost the GOP the state of Pennsylvania in the last three presidential elections – as Western Pennsylvania has moved toward the GOP, metro Philly has moved toward the Democrats, thus keeping the state blue.
Second, the party already is continuously blasted by Democrats for being unduly dependent upon the demands of the wealthy. Given that this is never going to change, wouldn’t it be nice if the party could actually win the wealthy?
This is where Mitt Romney comes into play. I can think of several reasons why he might be able to reverse the party’s decline with the well-to-do.