ANALYSIS: The Storm That’s Hit the GOP

A cloud of frustration has party leaders openly worried about electoral losses.

Decades of establishment office-holder and thought-leader machinations have resulted in conventional and predictable, if not always successful, candidates and candidacies.

Those days look to be over now. Ten days before the first voting of 2016, a cloud of anger and frustration has party leaders openly worried about electoral losses that could expand through generations.

What’s left of the GOP establishment is so deeply divided that it can’t even decide which of its two frontrunners needs to be stopped more urgently. That says nothing of the party’s inability to settle on one or even two candidates to represent its traditional power bases, despite a deep talent pool helped by opposition to President Obama.

As voting is set to start, Republicans have a dozen choices in front of them. Yet polls show more than half of the vote going to two candidates who combined do not have a single governor or senator behind them.

It’s been said that while Democrats look to fall in love, Republicans are good at falling into line. Voting hasn’t started yet, and Trump or Cruz could still prove their party’s conventional wisdom wrong yet again. But it’s already clear that the GOP has misunderstood its own voters in fundamental ways.