The Four Faces of the Republican Party

A deep look at the key GOP factions and how successful primary candidates navigate them.

Issue: March-April 2014

THE COMMON wisdom holds that the GOP 2016 presidential race will boil down to a joust between the “establishment” and the “insurgents.” The former will allegedly be more moderate and the latter more conservative. Since most polls for two decades have shown that around two-thirds to 70 percent of self-described Republicans call themselves conservative, this elite narrative will focus on just how much the establishment candidate will need to be pulled to the right in order to fend off his insurgent challenger. And since the Tea Party has clearly become a vocal and powerful insurgent element in the GOP, the narrative will focus on two other questions: Who will gain Tea Party favor and emerge as the insurgent candidate?

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