New York Times — Alarmed by the harsh attacks and negative tone of their presidential contest, broad majorities of Republican primary voters view their party as divided and a source of embarrassment and think that the campaign is more negative than in the past, according to a New York Times/CBS News national poll released on Monday.
The dismay has not set back their leading candidate, however. While about four in 10 Republican voters disapprove of how Donald J. Trump has handled the violence at some of his rallies, Mr. Trump has also picked up the most support recently as several rivals have left the race. Forty-six percent of primary voters said they would like to see Mr. Trump as the party’s nominee, more than at any point since he declared his candidacy in June. Twenty-six percent favored Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and 20 percent backed Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
Fully three-quarters of Republican primary voters expect Mr. Trump to be their party’s nominee.
Compared with Republicans, far more Democratic primary voters see their side as unified and say the campaign has made them feel mostly proud of their party.
Yet Democrats are more sharply divided over their candidates.Hillary Clinton has only a slight edge over Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and growing numbers of Democratic primary voters are more excited about Mr. Sanders as their possible nominee. In the past month, the level of enthusiasm for Mrs. Clinton among Democratic voters has fallen eight percentage points to 40 percent, while it has grown for Mr. Sanders by 12 percentage points to 56 percent. Still, more than seven in 10 Democratic voters expect Mrs. Clinton to win the nomination.
Mr. Sanders performs slightly better than Mrs. Clinton in hypothetical general-election matchups against Mr. Trump: The senator beats the real estate developer by 15 percentage points, while Mrs. Clinton prevails by 10 points. Mrs. Clinton holds a narrow edge over Mr. Cruz, while Mr. Kasich is the only Republican who has an advantage over Mrs. Clinton in November.
With the state-by-state nominating contests about half over, Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton have pulled solidly ahead of their opponents in delegates. Yet they have also emerged as the cause of the most skepticism and negativity from the electorate nationwide as well as in their parties.
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