The GOP primary race is devastating the party’s image and turning voters away in droves, according to a new poll from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. The poll shows that the dishonest, immature, and offensive nature of the fight for the Republican nomination has made forty-two percent of registered voters feel less favorable about the Republican party, while only nineteen percent feel more favorable.
Altogether, the effect of the Republican primaries has been to damage their favorability by more than twenty percent. Even among Republican primary voters, more than twenty percent said they felt less favorable about their party. The public sentiment was obvious at the last Republican debate, which was filled with boos, jeers, and heckles from the audience.
In addition, the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump, has openly criticized the party, and was seriously considering running as an independent. The GOP has clearly lost any shred of credibility amongst its voters, the general public, and even its own candidates. Unsurprisingly, GOP favorability has dropped most amongst Latinos, moderates, and college-educated white people.
Anyone in these groups would surely be dismayed by the extreme proposals, open racism and xenophobia, and complete disregard for the facts that the Republican primary race has exposed. Calls for increased surveillance, mass deportation, closing of borders, attacks on civilian populations, and all kinds of racism is what the Republican debates have offered, all backed by intense fear-mongering and jingoism.
Nonetheless, despite the fact that the primary debates only serve to damage the image of the Republican party, this year’s GOP debates have drawn huge ratings – on average, three or four times the viewership in 2011. “The 2015 debates have obliterated all prior ratings records for both Fox News and CNN.” This is bad news for the Republicans, who are scaring away more and more voters with each debate.