Donald Trump is taking a troubled brand -- the Republican Party -- and making it worse.
In last week's Bloomberg Politics national survey, 60 percent of Americans said they had an unfavorable view of Republicans, the highest level in seven years. Since 2009, when this survey began, a plurality of the public has regarded the party with disfavor, but over the past several months the gap has widened. Only 33 percent rate Republicans favorably now.
There is a consensus among many Republican strategists, pollsters and politicians that Trump, with his exclusionary politics, harsh oratory and fondness for personal insult, has hurt the party's image.
"This absolutely is hurting our brand," says former Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine. "The question is how we unravel going forward. I fear the effects could be long-lasting. It's tragic."
Some blame the Trump phenomenon on cable and broadcast television networks, saying they have abandoned their standards of newsworthiness to attract the big audiences he commands.