That's the trouble with basing everything on statistics of past races. We really were in uncharted territory. Old "knowns" like Republicans being extremely anti-Russian, law-and-order, and Pat Nixon's "good Republican cloth coat" were out the window.
Their future looks pretty bleak right now. If they can pull off a revival to traditional Republican values, they might be able to return. Might help them if Trump was in prison or dead. Otherwise, the Patriot Party and Republicans are going to split the Right vote and elect Democrats as far as the eye can see.