The Republican race for the U.S. presidential nomination has been a raucous and sometimes crass affair, often descending into personal attacks among the four remaining candidates. 

As Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Ted Cruz battle to get the required 1,237 delegates, the conversation has focused as much on the candidates' looks, perceived masculinity and schoolyard insults as on actual policy.

Much of the Republican establishment is seeking to stop front-runner Trump. The likely best-case scenario for the old guard is that Rubio and Cruz together earn enough delegates in the coming weeks to keep Trump from reaching the majority threshold. 

That would set up an unpredictable Republican convention in July, when delegates at the Cleveland gathering would have to choose a nominee in open voting.

We asked CBC readers whether the vicious campaign has piqued their interest or turned them off U.S. politics.

They let us know in our latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion about topics of national and international interest. 

(Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the full comment in the blog format.)

Interest piqued

"We are witnessing history, watching the collapse of the American empire. Democracy and capitalism are showing us the dark side of this misguided political system. Sad to see yet interesting to watch." — eastcoastlaj

"This race makes for excellent entertainment. On one hand we have the Republican brass desperately trying to prevent Donald Trump from winning the nomination. On the other hand, we have Mr. Trump truly enjoying putting the screws to the establishment." — Keith Gibbons

"Absolutely fascinating! Initially Trump was dismissed but he has managed to tap into the American zeitgeist. It will be interesting to watch as it all unfolds." — oleander44

"​It has become my guilty pleasure. Political theatre has become the ultimate reality show. I cannot fathom how Trump continues to make every single 'mistake' in the political playbook and get away with it. What does it say about the collective American psyche that the people champion such a rude, disingenuous hollow man?" — Ratio Fictus

"Donald Trump running against Hillary will be like fireworks. An event greater than the Super Bowl. Go Donald go!" — Little Marko

Turned off

"​The campaign reminds me of the movie Idiocracy. Watching politics become an entertainment show is really disheartening. I wish there was an audience for sincere and intelligent candidates and that those were the type of people that had a chance at representing us." — Edmontonian

"The Republican race highlights the problem with the American electorate (or at least the Republican electorate): they don't think, they just want quick fixes. If they were thinking, they would run away from Trump. Yes, he gives them what they want, but they don't realize that what they want isn't what's good for them." — Dingbat

​"This isn't anti-elitism we're seeing, but more like anti-education, no matter what his supporters like to think." — DPR_MB

"​This is not about politics, it's about entertainment. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Kardashian run in the next elections." — Anna

"​What's ticking me off about this whole campaign is the lack of focus on issues. Instead, all the candidates seem to be putting all their energies into insulting each other. It may make for an entertaining campaign, but you've got to wonder: Does anybody in the U.S., from the candidates to the voters, have any idea what issues the country — and the world — has to face?" — moggie

Scared (a write-in category of sorts)

"It neither piques my interest nor turns me off. It horrifies me. Try to imagine a world in which Donald Trump is commander-in-chief of the world's only superpower and has control of thousands of nuclear weapons." — JeffRL

"I watch in horror, thinking of all the ammunition they are giving to the opponents of the U.S. Since when does 'telling it like it is' mean that it's OK to mock, demean, insult or threaten? Trump is giving a veneer of acceptability to the behaviour typically associated with sexism, racism and homophobia and has been giving a platform to those who espouse those beliefs. This is perfect recruiting ammunition for extremist groups, and statements like 'we need to take out their families,' besides advocating for war crimes, will degrade our security, not help."Nathan Derksen

"It terrifies me. The Republicans have stirred up a force they cannot control." — ninamarie

​You can read the complete discussion below.

Can't see the forum? Click here. 

With files from The Associated Press