"There is no question that there is a civil war that is waging within the party."
That Republican conflict, political science professor David Cohen adds, isn't between just two sides, but among a number of factions, including libertarians.
One of the most public battles has involved national security and civil liberties. Leaks about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs raised alarms for libertarians about the government's reach.
During the 2012 campaign cycle, CNN was among several news networks that hosted Republican debates. Now, the GOP says it doesn't want to be on either that network or NBC.
Credit Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Following through on an earlier warning, the Republican National Committee on Friday "unanimously passed a resolution preventing the committee from partnering with CNN and NBC for debates if they don't drop their Hillary Clinton productions ahead of the 2016 presidential election."
"CNN and NBC have shown clear favoritism, and they won't be hosting a single Republican primary debate," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
A little more than a year ago, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker survived a recall election after an epic battle with unions that gave him folk-hero status with many conservatives. Some political observers now consider him a presidential contender.
But Walker is downplaying that talk, even as he takes steps that hint at national ambition.