About a year ago, the Republican Party was boasting about having the strongest field of presidential candidates in a generation. Fast-forward to today and the situation is totally different. Senior Republicans are joining forces to fight Donald Trump, the party’s current front-runner and apparently a force to be reckoned with!

There’s no doubt that Trump is supported and backed by dozens of millions of angry Americans, but his campaign rhetoric has made him one of the most extreme candidate in the history of the Republican Party, effectively sending the establishment into an identity crisis. GOP elders have in recent times dismissed him as an entertaining fringe-figure who’s headed for self-destruction. But the leading candidate has done a lot more than that. He’s staged a hostile takeover and rebranded the party in his inescapable image. All this is happening at the expense of shared principles that could carry the Republican Party forward.

What if Trump Clinches the Nomination?

Chances are high that Donald Trump could clinch the Republican nomination. He’s already ahead of the other candidates by a significant margin, and there’s no indication that his popularity is dwindling. A Trump Republican nomination most likely culminates to a rift between republicans who have said they can never support Trump, and those who do. The former group could decide to support an independent candidate, or just refuse to vote. Either of these situation leads to a Trump loss in the November presidential election. And in the case this happens, it’ll be viewed as a betrayal by the massive Trump support base.

There are very few pathways in sight that don’t lead to a rift in the Republican Party after November.

Does the Party Survive this Crisis?

It’s a possible scenario that Trump could miss either the nomination or the presidential election. If this happens, what remains of his insurgency? Trump adherents take over the party, but it’s hard to see it being as competitive as it’s usually been on a national scale.

Obviously, the Republican Party won’t die. But it seems likely that it could turn out to be a very different Party by the time this process is done with. So as the current political situation unfolds, it’ll be interesting to see what turns out to be what.