The Republican establishment continues to fret about just how badly Donald Trump’s candidacy might hurt the party if he were to end up converting his polling lead in the GOP primary into an actual nominating victory. This week, though, the party got a reminder that Trump may have already done serious damage to the GOP’s brand before voting has even begun thanks to his nativist campaign and its demonization/disparagement of several demographic groups with whom the party had hoped to make inroads.
According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, 42 percent of all registered voters say the GOP primary—which Trump has shaped for months, both in posture and policy—has given them a worse impression of the party, compared to just 18 percent who said the opposite. The demographic splits, though, paint a particularly stark picture:
- Blacks: 57 percent less favorable, 5 percent more favorable (net: -52 points)
- Latinos: 45 percent less favorable, 13 percent more favorable (-32 points)
- Suburban voters: 43 percent less favorable, 19 percent more favorable (-24 points)
- Independents: 32 percent less favorable, 12 percent more favorable (-20 points)
- Whites: 40 percent less favorable, 22 percent more favorable (-18 points)
The Democratic clash between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders hasn’t been an unqualified victory for the Democratic Party either. According to the survey, 28 percent of registered voters said they had a less favorable view of the party as a result of the primary, compared with 17 percent who had a more positive view. Still, relative to how the GOP’s Trump-themed sales pitch is being received, the Democratic numbers look downright rosy, particularly among blacks and Latinos:
- Blacks: 29 percent more favorable, 5 percent less favorable (net: +24 points)
- Latinos: 29 percent more favorable, 17 percent less favorable (+12 points)
- Independents: 14 percent more favorable, 18 percent less favorable (-4 points)
- Suburban voters: 28 percent less favorable, 17 percent more favorable (-11 points)
- Whites: 33 percent less favorable, 14 percent more favorable (-19 points)
The views of blacks and Latinos shouldn’t surprise anyone given the harsh tone Trump has struck on immigration, his sometimes racially inflammatory remarks and actions, and the impact this rhetoric has had on the rest of a field eager to chase his voters. The only group with whom Republicans seems to be helping themselves relative to their liberal rivals, though, is white voters, and that’s largely a push—a troubling trend given that it’s pretty much the only group Trump and his fellow GOP hopefuls are working to win over at this point.