When Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of allowing Muslims to enter the United States last week, he was quickly condemned by several of his opponents in the Republican primary and top officials within the party.
As it turns out, a majority of Republicans support Trump’s proposal, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday.
Despite widespread sympathy for Muslims among the American population as a whole, 59 per cent of Republicans said they supported a temporary ban on Muslims, while 30 per cent called it the “wrong thing to do,” the poll found.
Meanwhile, just 15 per cent of Democrats and 38 per cent of independents support the proposal.
The poll also found that 59 per cent of Americans think Muslims in the US experience unjustified discrimination, and 54 per cent of Americans believe mainstream Islam is a peaceful religion, while 28 per cent say it encourages violence.
Negative views of Islam, strong concerns about terrorism and illegal immigration and a belief that Muslims do not experience discrimination in the US all translate to support for Trump, said ABC News pollster Gary Langer in a press release.
“Backing for the plan is especially high among those looking for a political outsider — another Trump strength, built upon his willingness to express controversial sentiments,” he said.
The results coincide with Trump’s 13-point surge in a Monmouth University poll of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, also released Monday.
“It has become abundantly clear that Trump is giving his supporters exactly what they want, even if what he says causes the GOP leadership and many Republican voters to cringe,” pollster Patrick Murray said in a statement.
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