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Contentious Primary Hurting GOP's Image: Poll

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    Contentious Primary Hurting GOP's Image: Poll
    File--AP
    Republican presidential candidates take the stage before the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. From left: Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

    The tumultuous race for the Republican nomination is taking a toll on the GOP's image, with more than four-in-10 voters saying that the primary contest has soured their perceptions of the Republican Party -- more so than impressions of the Democrats, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

    In the poll, 42 percent of registered voters said the primary race has made them feel less favorable about the GOP, compared to just 19 percent who said they feel more favorable. Thirty-eight percent said the brawl for the Republican nomination hasn't changed their view of the party as a whole.

    Republican primary voters are split on whether the contentious race, which has been largely dominated by the often bombastic rhetoric of front-runner Donald Trump, has improved or eroded their perceptions of their own party.

    A third -- 33 percent -- say they view the party more favorably now, while 23 percent say they now have a worse image of the GOP.