- REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Early exit polls from the New York primary found that Republican voters think the primary season has divided their party, while Democratic voters think the race has energized theirs.
NBC exit polls showed that 57% of Republican voters surveyed said the primary campaign had divided their party, and only 39% said the primary campaign has been energizing.
By contrast, 68% of Democratic voters said the race has energized their party, while only 27% said the campaign has divided Democrats.
The numbers serve more evidence of a Republican Party that’s being torn apart by a vicious primary race.
The two leading candidates for the Republican nomination – billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz – are largely unpopular with the party’s establishment. Candidates who are well-liked by the Republican establishment, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, dropped out earlier in the race.
Some Republican elites have mounted furious efforts to stop Trump from winning the nomination, but his bombastic style has wooed voters who are unhappy with the status quo.