“Being negative and being against the liberals might be sufficient to win a couple of elections, but it’s not sufficient to form a governing coalition. Eventually you have to be for something, as well as against something,” said Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “Right now, the American conservative voter base is divided on what they’re for, but they’re united on what they’re against.”…

“The Republican party has to come to grips with where the people who are open to voting for a conservative party are right now, and they’re actually on a host of issues closer to where Trump is than where the pre-Trump party was,” Olsen said.

Those policy differences have raised the question of whether the Republican party is on track to splinter, with one faction sticking with Trumpism and the other focusing on traditional conservative values such as small government and deficit reduction.

“There’s a healthy debate about, should we just let the Republican party wither and die on the Trumpism vine and start a new party? Because this path for the Republican party is untenable,” Setmayer said.