The battle for the heart and ownership of the Republican party is well underway. What precipitated it was the nomination of Mitt Romney for the presidency in 2012 against the wishes of the rank and file.
Romney won because the conservative vote was split allowing him to win early primary after primary-plus his huge money advantage and ruthless machine destroyed Gingrich in Florida. If Newt had won in Florida after his landslide in South Carolina there would have been, at least, a ballot at the convention if not a brokered convention.
Instead there was a fait accompli-which is partly Santorum and Gingrich's fault for not making an agreement when there was time to do so and possibly Huckabee's fault for chasing the big dollars at Fox when if he had run he might have forced a convention choice.
Conservatives either held their collective noses or stayed home in the millions rather than vote for yet another in the long RINO line like Bush 2nd time/Dole/McCain/Romney.
All that is water under the bridge and conservatives are clearly determined to either take over the party or leave it to start a genuinely conservative one. Failing either of those two events if another RINO gets the nomination in 2016 I would believe there would be a massive abstention or protest vote for minor conservative parties.
Michael Walsh at NRO's The Corner has a battle cry article up "What We Just Saw" which excoriates the current GOP leadership in light of their reaction to Senator Cruz's heroic efforts to defund Obamacare. here is a sample-the full post is at
Governor Palin set matters out clearly-as she does so well but advising there already is a third party, the Dem's the GOP establishment, and what she categorizes as "the good guys" which includes Messrs. Cruz and Lee.
She also advised it is time for those two gentlemen to have many more join them in the 2014 elections which she will no doubt play a major role in assisting such a result.
At that point the numbers should stack up so an evaluation can be taken as to whether an all out campaign to take over the leadership should be undertaken or whether the task is hopeless due to intransigence by the old guard and at that point the rotting hulk should be discarded.
If the establishment wants a Christie to be their nominee and they force the issue then by all means let them have their man-but it will be without the base who will spend election day fishing or voting for a new, genuine conservative party