The only thing nastier than the Democrat-Republican partisan battles are the battles inside the parties.

Among Democrats, Sanderistas are attacking more moderate Obama Democrats. Among Republicans, Trumpian nationalists are seeking to bully traditional conservatives and moderates.

The ferocity of the fighting is striking. Each side sees the other as scary and/or corrupt. Voices suggest we can’t live without the party. There’s talk of making the party narrower and purer.

This is the sort of situation that causes parties to split.

It might sound strange to American ears –we’ve had two major political parties for much of our history. But a split of both parties – from 2 parties into 4 – wouldn’t be a surprise.

This has been happening in other parts of the world. Spain saw its main left and its main right parties splinter within the last two years, making it nearly impossible to form a government. President Macron’s election in France was the product of the effective split of the traditional left and right parties.

Could California play a role in such a split? Perhaps. Our top two system lends itself to splits. The Republicans are fielding Trumpian and conservative candidates. The Democrats could divide up between Sanderistas and moderates.

And both parties here are engaged in civil wars. The fight over the leadership of the state Democratic Party continues on, long after the election. State Republican Trumpians are preparing to purge elected officials who voted for the gas tax or cap-and-trade.

It’s quite possible, even likely, that factions of each party will decide they can’t live with each other anymore. Who needs a third party when we’ll soon have 4?