And this wouldn't be Duke's first stab at elected office, either. He ran for president as a Democrat in 1988 -- making little headway -- but again four years later, as a Republican, which caused considerable consternation in the party, the Florida GOP trying to get him off the ballot. In 1990 he won a special election for the state legislature (but proved ineffective). In 1991 he ran for governor and, while he received less than 40 percent of the overall vote in the state-mandated runoff, he crowed afterward that he got 55 percent of the white vote. (In fairness, he was running against Edwin Edwards, who was the epitome of "laissez les bon temps rouler" and who got most of the black vote.)
While modern conservatism isn't inherently racist, all of your "racial realists" -- their preferred term -- are conservative in every possible way and today vote Republican. And according to the Daily Beast article, Duke has quite a following, with his YouTube videos going "viral." That's especially the case since Obama became president.
The tea-party movement in particular has a reputation for racist behavior that its leadership has categorically denied. But according to Stormfront founder and radio host Don Black, it shouldn't because, frankly, there are indeed racists who participate.
You see the difficulty. On the one hand, you have a party that's trying to build a coalition to regain the highest office in the land and arguably the most powerful political post in the world. On the other hand, you have forces of intolerance, a form of "religion" if you will, that won't accept anything less than capitulation. The GOP simply can't and won't have it both ways, so get ready for a major split.