If Nate Silver (at FiveThirtyEight.com) is right, Republicans may be in even worse shape electorally in two years than they have been this past year:
[T]he Republicans, arguably, are in something of a death spiral. The more conservative, partisan, and strident their message becomes, the more they alienate non-base Republicans. But the more they alienate non-base Republicans, the fewer of them are left to worry about appeasing. Thus, their message becomes continually more appealing to the base — but more conservative, partisan, and strident to the rest of us. And the process loops back upon itself.
Of course, this is also how a conservative party can become an authoritarian party.
Just how far to the right can the Republican party go before it becomes a party almost exclusively inhabited by white male authoritarians, and religious authoritarians, and general hysterics constantly in a PANIC! over sex, terrorists, and immigration?
At some point conservatives have to step aside from such a party and, like King Lear, say, “No, no!—This way lies madness!”