We have had two Presidents who lacked support of a party, and we may now have a third one in Donald Trump.
Two Presidents were elected Vice President as part of a “fusion” team to help elect the Presidential nominee, and then quickly became President upon the death of the President.
John Tyler, a Democrat, ran on the Whig Party line with William Henry Harrison in 1840, and Harrison died of pneumonia 31 days after the inauguration.
Tyler disagreed with the Whig Party principles, and came into conflict with Whig leadership, including Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky and Congressman John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts.
His entire cabinet resigned after a few months, with the exception of Secretary of State Daniel Webster, and Tyler had great troubles with confirmation hearings, with four cabinet appointments and four nominees for the Supreme Court rejected by the Whig controlled Senate. The Congress refused to pass funding for fixing of the White House, which was in disrepair, and an attempted impeachment was prevented only by the Whigs losing the House of Representatives in 1842.
So John Tyler was a man without a party.
The same can be said of Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, who was the Vice Presidential nominee with Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1864, with Lincoln concerned about reelection, so choosing a loyal Southern Democrat to shore up support among some Northern Democrats.
When Lincoln was assassinated 45 days after his second inauguration, Johnson became President but clashed quickly with Radical Republicans over Reconstruction policy, and when he vetoed significant legislation, and went out and campaigned against them in midterm congressional elections in 1866, an open split was clear, and Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, which prevented the dismissal of any cabinet officer appointed by the President, without majority backing by the majority of both houses of Congress, an unconstitutional action.
Johnson now faced impeachment on flimsy charges, and was found not guilty, but it weakened his ability to govern, and he was unable to gain the filling of a Supreme Court vacancy, and was truly a President without a party.
Now, Donald Trump has alienated many Republicans, who are willing to investigate his Russian ties and possible collusion in the Presidential Election of 2016. He has denounced the Freedom Caucus membership which prevented his health care legislation from passing, and many US Senators, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, and others, have been strong critics. Additionally, he has hinted at working with Democrats, even though he has also antagonized them repeatedly with his utterances and policies. His public opinion rating is the lowest for any new President, since the beginning of polling 80 years ago.
The possibility of impeachment is there, as even top Republican leadership, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have found it difficult to work with a President who is constantly tweeting and criticizing, in a very divisive way.
So Donald Trump could end up being the third President without a party, recalling that for a long time, he was sounding years ago like a liberal Democrat!