Virginia, New Jersey results highlight Republican Party’s divisions, problems

Tuesday’s elections, which produced a resounding Republican victory in New Jersey and a dispiriting loss for the GOP in Virginia, highlighted the challenges ahead for a badly divided party — and will probably intensify an internal debate about how to win back the White House in 2016. …

The outcomes set up a battle for power between competing wings of the Republican Party. Call it the establishment vs. the tea party, or the gubernatorial wing against the congressional wing. This competition is less about ideology or policy — there is no disunity, for example, when it comes to the party’s dislike of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act — than about purity vs. pragmatism, tactics and strategy. Or, as Christie has put it, it is about winning an argument vs. winning elections. CONT.

Dan Balz, Washington Post