There’s No Republican Party—There Are 5 of Them - Norm Ornstein - the Atlantic
Across the nation, not just in Washington, there are ever more signs of a Republican Party veering to the right edge of the right wing of the political spectrum. With prospects for a comprehensive immigration bill fading, what will it take to bring the GOP back at least to the right edge of the center of the spectrum, to compete to win national elections on its own merits and not just when the Democrats fail or the economy falters?
American history has many examples of a party going off the rails and taking a long time to recover. It was true of the Democrats in the 1890s and again in the 1960s and early ’70s. One rough rule of thumb is that a party has to lose three presidential elections in a row to make it clear that the problem is not just individual presidential candidates and their failures but something deeper, enough to motivate a party to move to expand beyond its ideological base and capture the center. But if that happens in 2016 — if Democrats make it three wins in a row — I am not sure it will be enough for the GOP.
That is because I see at least five Republican parties out there, with a lot of overlap, but with enough distinct differences that the task is harder than usual. There is a House party, a Senate party, and a presidential party, of course. But there is also a Southern party and a non-Southern one. The two driving forces dominating today’s GOP are the House party and the Southern one — and they will not be moved or shaped by another presidential loss. If anything, they might double down on their worldviews and strategies.