It seems increasingly clear that Clinton will be elected president on November 8th and as soon as the partying has stopped some hard questions will need to be asked by both parties. The Republican will probably face the hardest review: How can the GOP continue when its policy seem to be aimed at uneducated white males? The rejection of all others and the spectacle that was DJT is certain to force the party to have another difficult review.
Another aspect of the review is the marriage that the GOP made with talk radio and groups such as Fox. This has led the party to more and more extreme positions, not based on any specific drive but as a rating driver for talk radio and FOX. On the other hand the shine seems to have come off FOX over this election cycle -- it may save the network!
We can already see some important changes:
The monolithic Christian right is no longer a sure thing for the GOP. Granted the the break could be temporary should Cruz come back in 2020 (or Paul Ryan) then they may go back into the fold. Although its far from certain...once other options have been examined and considered!
Freedom Caucus could breakaway from the GOP, this ultra conservative group is becoming unmanageable within the GOP caucus, where a group of 42 Congressmen (out of 435) seem to block all legislation that doesn't meet their exacting standards. Should the Senate return to the Democrats (something that is increasingly possible -- probability in the 65% range) then their position would become untenable, without a majority (GOP) the power of the Freedom Caucus is seriously eroded. Other Republicans can vote with the Democrats to get things done (since they will not be blocked in the Senate). Anyway, the FC represent the kernel of a new political entity within the framework of the American electoral system. it would also follow a pattern of more extreme right wing views as mainstream in other countries.
Dichotomy between party members and the beltway intelligencia: In both parties there is a breach between Beltway and "Core" party members; the strength of Bernie Sanders' vote (still substantially behind Clinton, but this is a Senator from Vermont -- and a socialist to boot and until two weeks prior to the primary was an independent -- not a Democrat). This dichotomy between "core" and "beltway" party members is troublesome for both parties -- more so for the GOP that has been playing dog whistle with nativist (or plainly racists) policies for decades. The Southern strategy was driven by a desire to turn back the clock of desegregation -- The South that had been Democrat for nearly a century became republican.
The soul searching will be more immediate for the Republicans; first in 2012 they tried (driven by Beltway Republicans) to draft a new way forward, just to have Trump go the exact opposite direction. For both the establishment was attacked successfully by outsiders; Clinton was forced more to the left, and the GOP went to the far right (anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic positions). This was never the intention of beltway Republicans -- and yet the base (which I call the Core) saw things differently -- they saw a different way driven in large part by more than 8 years of aggressive anti-democratic (and anti Democrat) statement. It is truly difficult to change the mind of people that believe that UFO exist (nearly 20% of Trump's supporters believe in UFOs).
Finally, there is WWDJTD (what will Donald J Trump Do?). The end game has to be something else than winning the elections, his behavior in the third debate was that of a man who was trying to reassure his base -- not of a candidate that was trying to expand his appeal. Considering his ratings its strange behavior if winning elections is the objective. One has to wonder if the stories of new Trump network are true o just more BS. Trump is running a strange champagne, declaring that if he is not the winner then the results were fabricated, that people are out to get him (although that may be true…). He sounds more unhinged the closer we get to Election Day. Very strange behavior, unless winning the election was only a byproduct of his real strategy.