"I get that some people wish that there was a break from electoral politics. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Not just in the US - once again, parliamentary countries pick their party leaders far, far, in advance of the next election, and those selections are always open to further challenge, which means that they too have continuous party leadership competition, even though it takes a very different from. Parties do this for the very good reason that nominations determine who and what a party is, and in democratic parties that question is basically always going to be an open one.
"To put it another way: speculating about 2016 (presidential nominations) is just another way of asking about a party's position on an issue, and perhaps in a deeper way than tallying votes in Congress might do."