August 3, 2015 8:41 AM EDT

A large majority of Latinos view Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump negatively, according to a new poll, and more than half believe his recent comments about Mexican immigrants were racist and inappropriate.

Trump, who is leading the Republican field in polls ahead of the first debate this week, has drawn both headlines and scorn for his incendiary comments about Mexicans and immigrants, saying during his announcement speech in June that Mexico is “sending people that have lots of problems… They are bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

A survey of 250 Latinos found that 75% view the television star and real estate mogul unfavorably, and 61% say their view of him is “very negative,” according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll results. More than half, or 55% of Latinos, said his remarks about Mexicans are “insulting and racist and have no place in a campaign for president.”

Trump has claimed in the past to have a broad support in the Latino community.

“I think I’ll win the Hispanic vote,” Trump said during a campaign stop near the Mexican border in late July. “Over the years, thousands and thousands of Hispanics have worked for me and now work for me and the relationship is very good.”

Of those surveyed, 69% said Trump is hurting the Republican Party’s image, a concern that many in the GOP’s leadership share.

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