This election ends—mercifully—on November 8. The question of what awaits us on November 9 is, at this point, the most important one in politics.

It has begun to dawn on Donald Trump and members of his inner circle that he is headed toward defeat—a fact his enablers in the Republican Party have been aware of for a long time. What remains to be seen is how badly Trump will lose, how he’ll cope with defeat, and how Republicans will cope with the repudiation of their party. Will they finally accept the need to reform? Or will they give way even more fully to the extremism, and backlash politics that gave rise to Trump in the first place?

Norm Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, cowrote the book on the Republicans’ dysfunction. He explains why this happened to their party, and what the outlook for their future is.

Further reading:

  • Norm explores what happens to Paul Ryan if Trump loses for The Atlantic.