Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC by 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman

Poll finds most Republicans are embarrassed by the GOP presidential primary

Maybe the debate about the size of Trump's penis had something to do with it.

Feb 29, 2020, 9:49 am*



Aaron Sankin

The 2016 Republican presidential primary has been, let’s say, unusual. So unusual, in fact, that it’s making many conservative voters blush. 

What initially seemed like a well-mannered contest between presidential scion former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin’s union-busting Gov. Scott Walker was thrown into chaos when billionaire reality-TV star Donald Trump vaulted to the front of the pack on a mixture of nativism, mendacity, and bravado.

As the primary season winds down to its inevitable end, Republicans are taking stock of how their party has selected its presidential candidate and aren’t exactly enthused about what they see. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll released this week, 60 percent of Republican primary voters feel embarrassed about the state of their party.

In contrast, only 13 percent of Democratic voters feel the same way about their primary contest, which has remained largely civil—at least among the candidates themselves—despite a sharp divide between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

The sentiment that Trump has led the other candidates down a crass and juvenile path is one that’s been echoed time and again both by party insiders and everyday GOP voters. Following a Republican debate in Detroit earlier this month, famed conservative pollster Frank Luntz tweeted a series of dire observations from his debate focus group.

This sense of dissatisfaction with the party as a whole is far greater across the board on the Republican side than for the Democrats, the Times/CBS News poll found. Some 88 percent of Republicans reported feeling their party was divided, while only 33 percent of Democrats said the same. Just 51 percent of Republicans hold a favorable opinion of their party, compared to 82 percent of Democrats. That same number of Republicans said they have a favorable opinion of their current front-runner, 10 points below the figure for Democrats talking about Clinton.

While there’s no doubt Trump is largely responsible for the race’s overall tenor, which a majority of respondents didn’t seem to appreciate, the same poll found that 46 percent of Republican primary voters favor Trump becoming the party’s nominee and 75 percent believe its the most likely outcome.

The poll was conducted through landmine telephone interviews with 1,253 adults in the United States and has a 3-percent margin of error.

Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC by 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Mar 23, 2016, 1:42 pm