The Republican Party has had its key elections which transform the party on a regular basis 52 years apart, and we are on the way to that occurring yet again!
In 1860, just six short years after the founding of the party in the upper Midwest, the Republican Party won its first national victory, gaining control of both houses of Congress, and electing Abraham Lincoln, even though he won slightly less than 40 percent of the total national popular vote. The party went on to dominate American politics for the next 52 years, only losing the Presidency twice to Grover Cleveland, in 1884 and 1892.
Then in 1912, the split between former President Theodore Roosevelt and incumbent President William Howard Taft, a conflict between conservatives and progressives, led to a disastrous defeat for Taft, the worst defeated President running for reelection ever in American history before and after 1912. This put the opposition Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, and gave Democrat Woodrow Wilson two terms in the White House, although coming close to losing in 1916. He proceeded to promote programs known as the New Freedom and the New Nationalism, stealing the second slogan from TR.
The Republican Party went on to revive itself from 1920-1932, but was then made the minority party in voter registration after 1932, due to the Great Depression, and only won two terms in the White House under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and two separate two year terms in Congress over the next 32 years.
After years of establishment Republicans losing, except for Eisenhower, the conservatives took over the party in 1964, again 52 years after the 1912 split, and nominated Senator Barry Goldwater, and suffered a massive defeat, insuring the biggest landslide victory in history for Lyndon B. Johnson, and the promotion of the Great Society.
While the Goldwater mentality in broad outline became the government under Ronald Reagan in 1980, the split between conservatives and progressives revived under the two Bush Presidents, as well as criticism of the Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney Presidential runs.
And here we are again with the right wing striving to take over the party, with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, along with some others, trying to move the party to an extreme, more so than Barry Goldwater represented.
And one can be sure that 2016, 52 years after 1964, we will see another massive defeat, for the GOP, probably to Hillary Clinton, but with no certainty that the party, 160 years old in 2014, can survive as a viable political party opposition!