Take a look at what happened in San Diego, where Republican Kevin Faulconer beat Democrat David Alvarez in the race for mayor:
Partly the Faulconer blowout was the result of the lower turnout of a special election called to replace disgraced Democratic Mayor Bob Filner. But partly it came from a renewed ability of Republicans to reach out to independent and moderate voters with the need to practice fiscal restraint and sound management. “It’s been less than a decade since public-employee unions drove San Diego into near-insolvency, and people were reminded of that,” says Jason Roe, a political consultant in San Diego.
(Emphasis mine.) Just imagine what might happen on the national level if Republicans are able to show “a renewed ability . . . to reach out to independent and moderate voters with the need to practice fiscal restraint and sound management.”