It seems the GOP establishment has started worrying that the race has gotten a bit too nasty. They’re worried they’re hurting their brand.
Whether or not the 2012 primaries are literally the most negative in memory, there’s no question that the race is taking a uniquely painful toll on the Republican field.
While the 2008 primaries were certainly divisive for a time, none of the candidates received the severe, lasting damage that surveys show for the 2012 field. The POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll published Monday placed three Republican candidates — Romney, Gingrich and Ron Paul — in horrendously negative territory among voters, with Santorum well on his way in the same direction.
Republican pollsters Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber, who conducted the poll with the Democratic firm Lake Research, wrote in an analysis that their party’s candidates were essentially eating themselves alive.
Of course, that’s just within themselves. Questioning the President’s faith, insinuating that if he gets a second term we will see a nuclear detonation in the US, calling him the food stamp president, allowing birthers to continue their relentless pursuit of the futile, denigrating the poor – none of that is negative in their books. As long as they play nice with each other, they really don’t mind.