State rights and a strong national defense is the message that can resonate with swing voters, and ISN'T THAT WHAT WE WANT ANYWAY? We DON'T want a strong Federal government that THINKS LIKE US, we want STRONG STATE GOVERNMENTS WHERE WE CAN CALL OUR OWN SHOTS!
If California wants to be Socialist, FINE. That's why I left the Pyrite State to begin with. But as long as they stay there, FINE.
The Founders had very diverse ideas, and IT WAS STATE'S RIGHTS THAT UNITED THEM. That same message will resonate with most Americans if presented properly. Heck, don't some leftists avoid the gay marriage question among their own constituencies by appealing to state's rights anyway? It will probably appeal to far more people than we realize.