The easy answer, of course, is that they cannot because look what happened to the GOP when it took it granted. But it is much more complex than that and the Republicans should actually be rather excited by what they are witnessing in Philly at the Democratic Convention.
There is a giant swath of American voters who do not like Trump, but are either centrist or to the right. They do not like Hillary, they do not like Trump, and they do not like what they are hearing from Trump. The RNC spent four days not reaching out to the American public, but trying to convince Republicans to get on the Trump train. There were barely any efforts to persuade outside the GOP.
If the first night of the Democratic convention is any indication, the Democrats are making the same mistake and it may very well be more fatal to them. See, there are a vast number of center-right Americans who do not want to vote for Trump, but they also do not want a dude in their daughter’s bathroom or their gun rights curtailed.
The Democrats thus far have put on stage illegal aliens to celebrate being illegal aliens, talked about Citizens United as if everybody knows what it means and agrees it is bad, and bragged repeatedly that they had the most progressive agenda ever.
Even a guy like me, who is explicitly and firmly against Trump and Clinton both, may have to rethink things if this is the direction the Democrats intend to go. Greater Christian persecution in America, dudes in my daughter’s bathroom, taking away my guns, and making me pay for some slacker’s four years of getting baked for free in the Ivy League are the easiest way to get fence sitters into the Trump camp.
They have the opportunity to triangulate and thus far are no better at outreach to the fence sitters of America than the GOP is. They should be worried about that. Whichever side builds a coalition is going to have an easier path to victory.