“The populist wave that allowed Donald Trump to overrun the Republican Party and powered him to the presidency isn’t showing any signs of ebbing—with or without him in the White House,” said Republican strategist Colin Reed. “After beginning to percolate in the early years of the Obama era, the movement found its vessel to relevance when Trump burst on the scene in 2015. The days of a GOP that stands for free trade, open borders, and internationalism are less likely to return than a party that splits into multiple factions.”…

“Trump’s rise in the Republican Party was always just a reflection of the views of Republican voters,” said Andrew Surabian, a GOP strategist and a former official in the Trump White House. “That’s why he won the GOP nomination in such a commanding fashion in the first place.”

But elsewhere, graybeards in the party have made notable shifts that suggest they too see the image and build of the GOP as being irrevocably altered. John Feehery, a former top aide to House Speaker Dennis Hastert and a longtime lobbyist and television commenter, told The Daily Beast that he no longer considered himself a part of the GOP establishment, which he described as the “C Suite” and “McKinsey folks” who “lack humanity.”

Asked if he was being opportunistic, Feehery replied: “I haven’t made a lot of money on this. The opportunistic ones are those who work for the Lincoln Project [the Republican Never Trump group]. They’re the ones who turned their backs on the party, their voters, their families.”