It turns out that the conventional wisdom that the GOP brand is damaged is true but in a profoundly weird way. The grumpy old white guys of the GOP are, well, behaving like grumpy old white guys. The GOP brand is damaged the most among voters least likely to abandon it, the party's own base. This is likely to lead to dispiriting articles that focus on the top line party reputation difference (which is about 10 points) and could affect turnout, but that's not a sure bet for Democrats.
Among independents, the persuadable middle, both parties have equally bad reputations, well within the margin of error in polling by CBS/New York Times. 2014 is shaping up to be one strange year.