The Republican Party is on the verge of a meltdown, with the right wing possibly breaking off to form a third party, says Ron Fournier, editorial director of the National Journal
Fournier points to two signs of a potential schism in the party.
First, there was the fight by Karl Rove’s new super PAC — Conservative Victory Project — against extremely conservative GOP candidates, whom Rove considers “unelectable.”
Then, tea-party favorite Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, offered a competing response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Some Republican heavyweights fear Paul will run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, lose, and then launch a bid as a third-party candidate.
GOP consultant Scott Reed puts the party’s internal strife in strong terms. “The (Republican) party is irrelevant,” he tells Fournier. “It’s leading to some type of crash and reassessment and change. It can’t continue on this path.”
Voter discontent may damage the Democratic Party too. Wisconsin GOP Rep. Reid Ribble, who represents a district divided about equally between Democrats and Republicans, sees big change ahead. “I think we’re at the precipice of a breakdown of the two-party system,” he says.
The fighting of partisan lawmakers and their inability to get anything done have alienated voters, with more people turning independent, Ribble notes.
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