Steve Schmidt, a highly regarded Republican political operative has raised the interesting question of whether the Republican Party will split in half. One half of the remaining Republican Party would be a hard core, far right party, and the other half would be a center right party.
Donald Trump could very well attempt to continue to lead the far right of the Republican Party, demanding loyalty of the establishment while continuing to be the voice of the extremists. He is already setting himself up with the excuse that he lost because the election was rigged. Instead of accepting defeat and graciously bowing out like generations of candidates before him, it sure looks like he will want to claim that the next President is not legitimate. Donald could very well claim that the establishment from the Republican Party was never in favor of his nomination and that they stood in his way all along.
If in fact Donald Trump takes this position it will make things difficult for the Party that he represents in the election. Republicans will find themselves in the position of repudiating their own nominee, as an outlier candidate, ignore his exhortations and try to move on as if nothing had happened. For some who share a kinship of beliefs , they will find him an attractive choice to further their aims and ambitions.
If he loses big, this will be an easy choice for mainstream Republicans. Republicans are already fleeing what appears to be a sinking ship. Their hope is that enough Republicans vote in the general election to keep their party afloat. It would appear that in states that have a strong Republican as the head of the ticket, they are in good shape. For those states, even red states, that do not have a candidate that is strong, the Republican Party is in trouble. If Republicans stay home in modest numbers, it could mean that this election will be a wave election and the House of Representatives will be on the line.
For the moment the Republican Party seems to be in big, big trouble, seemingly doomed, irrevocably split. Only time and the ambition of Donald Trump will answer the million dollar question of what will happen to the Republican Party. Only history can give us the answer.