The GOP Primary Battle Is Damaging the GOP Brand

Pundits and voters view the party and candidates less favorably.

Posted: 03/05/2012 02:37 PM EST

No matter who wins the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the Republican Party loses. Watching the candidates attack each other with relentless vigor throughout the primary race is damaging voters’ opinions about the GOP brand and themselves, according to new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll results released Monday.

 

Ahead of Super Tuesday, where 419 delegates are up for grabs, the numbers aren’t good. Forty percent of respondents, and 23 percent of Republicans, said that the primary race has caused them to view the Republican Party less favorably and just 12 percent said they have a more favorable impression. Asked to describe it in a word or phrase, nearly 70 percent chose words like “painful,” “uninspiring” and “depressed.” Fifty-five percent of respondents, and 35 percent of Republicans, said the Democratic Party does a better job of appealing to voters outside of their base.

 

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, a conservative, said on ABC’s This Week, “The debates have been one thing. I think all of this Super PAC money and the attacks that have been there are another thing that’s had a tough effect.”

 

Citing Romney, “who basically helped draft ObamaCare”; Rick Santorum, “who wants to debate contraception” or Newt Gingrich, “who’s Newt Gingrich,”  MSNBC’s Morning Joe host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough echoed their sentiment.

 

“Can we just turn the lights off? It’s over. Let’s go to Barbados for a year,” he said Monday.

 

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