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What is the GOP message?

Republican candidates Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
David A. Grogan | CNBC

A new Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday shows presidential candidate Donald Trump leading the Republican party at 24 percent.

Retired American neurosurgeon Ben Carson is just one point behind. Florida Senator Marco Rubio scored 14 percent to 13 percent for Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush came in at just four percent.

"There are a lot of people fighting for the soul of the Republican party," said CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow. "The electorate is cranky and unhappy. Particularly the base of the Republican party at what's going on. And you are seeing that reflected with great division in the party."

Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin who serves on the Budget, Foreign Relations and Commerce Science and Transportation committees, believes the split is not dysfunctional, but has led to a GOP's inability to get its message out effectively.

Appearing on CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Wednesday, Johnson said "The GOP party needs to get back to basic principles. Our message should be about opportunity, about economic growth. We need to be concerned about those who have it and those who don't and how you bring up those who are disadvantaged."

Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, believes the country is more polarized than ever before and politicians need to remain focused on two main issues: job growth and getting the economy back on track.

"We need to make it less about polls and more about substance, " said Barbour. "What we need to do is solve problems."

CNBC Power Lunch executive producer Jason Gewirtz contributed to this article

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