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July 12, 2013


The Five Republican Parties

Norm Ornstein: "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."












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