Another Poll Shows Republicans Support Donald Trump’s ‘Ban All Muslims’ Immigration Plan

Heading into another Presidential debate, a new poll shows that Republicans are very receptive to Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S.

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Another new national poll from ABC News and The Washington Post shows that Republicans support Donald Trump’s plan to ban Muslim immigration to the United States for some unspecified period of time, while most other Americans oppose it:

A majority of Republicans support presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to temporarily block Muslims from entering the United States, even as a clear majority of the public overall rejects the idea in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey finds broad sympathy for Muslims in the United States following recent terrorist attacks in Paris and California. The poll shows that more than seven in 10 adults think Muslims in the United States face discrimination for their religion, with nearly six in 10 saying such discrimination is not justified. Fewer than three in 10 say mainstream Islam encourages violence against non-Muslims, a similar finding to surveys conducted before the recent violence.


Sixty-percent of Americans say Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims who are not U.S. citizens is the wrong thing to do, while 36 percent support it in the new poll. Nearly twice as many strongly oppose Trump’s proposal as strongly support it, 48 percent to 25 percent.

The results underscore the stark divide between a GOP base that is skeptical of Islam and the views of the American public more broadly.

Republicans endorse Trump’s proposal by a margin of 59 percent to 38 percent, with significant appeal across large swaths of the GOP electorate. For Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, support for Trump’s idea is especially strong among those who lack college degrees — a group that has been particularly supportive of Trump in general. Sixty-three percent of those respondents support Trump’s plan, while it falls to 44 percent among college graduates.

Republicans’ support for Trump’s proposal comes despite widespread criticism from GOP leaders and nearly all of his competitors for the nomination. Trump will face another challenge to his national security policies in a Republican debate Tuesday night, beginning the final six weeks before the Iowa caucuses in a contest that has refocused on national security and terrorism in response to the Islamic State’s rise and growing terrorism fears.

Support for Trump’s plan falls to 38 percent among political independents and to 17 percent among Democrats. His proposal also receives varying support across religious lines. Fewer than one-quarter of Americans with no religious affiliation support a ban on Muslims, 24 percent, compared with 40 percent of all Christians and 54 percent of white evangelical Protestants.

A 54 percent majority of Americans say mainstream Islam, excluding fringe elements and extremists, is a peaceful religion. Twenty-eight percent say mainstream Islam encourages violence against non-Muslims, similar to 31 percent in 2010 but down from about one-third in 2003 and 2006. More than six in 10 of those who say Islam encourages violence support Trump’s proposal blocking Muslims from entering the United States, while more than seven in 10 who say Islam is peaceful oppose his plan.

A 73 percent majority in the poll say Muslims living in the United States experience discrimination because of their religion, and the vast majority of this group says such discrimination is not justified. A smaller share, 14 percent of all adults, perceive discrimination against Muslims but say it is justified.

Nearly eight in 10 of those who say Muslims face unjustified discrimination say Trump’s proposal not to let Muslims enter the United States is wrong. Among those who say Muslims do not face discrimination or that discrimination is justified, more than six in 10 support Trump’s plan.

These numbers are not entirely surprising, of course, in the immediate wake of Trump’s announcement, a flash poll from Bloomberg showed strong Republican support for the idea of barring Muslims from immigrating into the United States to the point where it showed that support as being as high as 65% among self-identified Republicans. In the days that followed, and even though the plan was condemned by essentially all of Trump’s fellow candidates along with other American politicians, as well as by political leaders worldwide, additional polling showed that while most Americans opposed the plan, Republicans were far more sympathetic to the idea than the rest of the American population. The fact that polling continued to show Trump polling very well in the Republican race, and that the first polls taken completely in the wake of the announcement were very positive for him also suggested very strongly that, in announcing the idea Trump had struck a nerve with Republicans even though it was unlikely that the idea ever could or would be implemented. Furthermore, polling taken well before the announcement and the most recent round of terrorist attacks, from the Public Religion Research Institute, the Pew Research Center, and a Bloomberg Politics national poll, show widespread disdain and distrust of  Muslims and Islam in general among Republicans, as does a new poll from YouGov. Finally, another datapoint from the new CBS/New York Times poll shows fear of terrorism is one of the major factors driving Republicans to line up behind Trump. Given all of this, the fact that Republicans are supporting Trump’s plan is not surprising at all, and it’s likely that Trump and his campaign advisers knew this before the announcement of the plan last week.

If nothing else, these numbers suggest that at least some of Trump’s Republican opponents are likely to temper their criticism of Trump over his plan for fear of handing Trump a victory among Republican voters. To some extent, you could already sense some of that tempering in the initial comments that some of the candidates made last week in the immediate aftermath of the announcement. While some candidates, such as Lindsey Graham and others, were strongly condemnatory of the idea, others, such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul were not. Of course, it’s relevant in that distinction that Graham’s low position in the polls, combined with the fact that he is arguably the most hawkish candidate in the race, gives him the room to be more critical of an idea like this even if it hurts him among Republican voters while candidates like Cruz and Paul can’t necessarily afford to offend voters who support Paul for fear that the will just end up helping Trump rise even further in the polls while hurting their own position among base Republican voters. Obviously, this issue will come up during the Republican debate tonight, so it will be interesting to see how the rest of the field handles the issue now that we have several polls confirming that, at least as far as Republican voters are concerned, Trump is right.

On a final note, the fact that Republican voters do in fact seem to support what on its face is clearly an insane, probably unconstitutional idea that is likely to do more to confirm what groups like ISIS and al Qaeda say about the United States than to make the nation safer says a lot about the Republican Party, and none of it good. As I’ve said on several occasions already, Trump has clearly tapped into something rather dark in the Republican base, and he’s succeeding by appealing to the worst fears and prejudices of that part of the party. To the extent the Republican establishment is concerned by this, and by all accounts they certainly and and should be, they really have nobody to blame but themselves for all of this since they have spent the better part of a decade, if not more, tapping into the this base to gain political power. Now that these people are striking out on their own and rallying around people like Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent at least for the moment, Ted Cruz, the establishment finds that they have no way of controlling the monster they helped create. Perhaps they’ll learn a lesson from all of this.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, Borders and Immigration, Law and the Courts, National Security, Public Opinion Polls, Religion, Terrorism, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. C. Clavin says:

    Trump has clearly tapped into something rather dark in the Republican base, and he’s succeeding by appealing to the worst fears and prejudices of that part of the party.

    Given history…both recent and more distant…it’s pretty tough to make the argument that this is but a “part of the party”.
    Trump is a feature of Republicanism…not a bug.
    This is a party based on vilifying the “other”…e.g. Reagan’s widely debunked welfare queens or Romney’s widely debunked 47%.
    Fox News has made a business plan of fear and hatred.
    Sorry…this is not some sliver of the party…it is the party.

  2. EddieInCA says:

    Another Poll Shows Republicans Support Donald Trump’s ‘Ban All Blacks” Plan

    Another Poll Shows Republicans Support Donald Trump’s ‘Ban All Mexicans” Plan

    Another Poll Shows Republicans Support Donald Trump’s ‘Ban All Arabs” Plan

    Another Poll Shows Republicans Support Donald Trump’s ‘Obama is not an American” Rhetoric

    All would be equally non-surprising headlines. This IS the Republican base.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Wow…apparently a lot of people don’t like what they see in the mirror.

  4. Rick Blatt says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I’m pretty sure the down votes are more about you than this article. You might try posting less and actually attempt to make an argument instead of partisan talking points.

  5. Mikey says:

    @C. Clavin: This post is being cross-linked at memeorandum right now so there are probably a lot of people here who wouldn’t normally see it.

  6. PJ says:

    @Rick Blatt:

    I’m pretty sure the down votes are more about you than this article. You might try posting less and actually attempt to make an argument instead of partisan talking points.

    Maybe the downvotes are from people who have never posted here, like you? Have you looked in a mirror recently?

  7. Rick Blatt says:


    I’m one Vote. I can’t speak for anyone else.

  8. PJ says:

    @Rick Blatt:

    I’m one Vote. I can’t speak for anyone else.

    You seemed pretty sure earlier… How about you take a guess?

    And have you had time to look in the mirror yet?

  9. C. Clavin says:

    @Rick Blatt:
    I’m pretty sure I made the argument that this is not a small faction of the party…but the entire party.
    You are the one who chose not to make a counter-argument…and instead made an ad hominem attack.
    Mirror mirror on the wall, baby.

  10. Rick Blatt says:


    no mirror needed. Its kind of pathetic that you bitches are whining about down votes. Is that why you post to see your votes?

  11. C. Clavin says:

    @Rick Blatt:
    Still no counter-argument…just blatt blatt blatt….

  12. jewelbomb says:

    At what point may we all stop pretending to be surprised that many likely Republican primary voters are bigots whose stated policy positions are counterproductive and, frankly, unAmerican ? I swear that variations of this article have appeared on this site at least twice a week since Trump inaugurated this craziness, and yet this still gets treated like news. We get it, Republicans, y’all are exactly what we fear you are.

  13. Modulo Myself says:

    The poll also suggests that the public is pretty skeptical of stupid tough-sounding ideas. This bodes poorly for the GOP, which has basically relied upon moderates saying sure X is stupid but at least it’s something TOUGH and not WEAK. I’m your usual limp-wristed sensitive type who enjoys running from fights, so I’m happy because I love weakness.

  14. Pch101 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I’m pretty sure I made the argument that this is not a small faction of the party…but the entire party.

    You’re overreaching with that, but the numbers would suggest that about half of the GOP base is motivated by some combination of populism, nativism, racism and a thirst Christian hegemony, all wrapped up in a bow of martyrdom.

  15. C. Clavin says:

    Maybe, maybe not…if Reagan and Romney were both complicit…it sure seems top to bottom to me.

  16. Modulo Myself says:


    I think most of the GOP base is too old and too lacking in ambulatory motivation. They’re far more the subject of chain email op-ed pieces rather than warriors of ideological zeal. In the assisted living facilities where it’s all Trump supporters, the real controversy is probably over who is in charge of the weekly menu system.

  17. Bob@Youngstown says:

    My turn to vent:
    The “total and complete” ban has already been discussed. It’s not so “total and complete”, it is unworkable and unachievable. It will not achieve the goal of making the US safer- in fact it may have the opposite effect.

    for some unspecified period of time

    As the Don told CNN ‘we have to do this until’ our representatives figure out “why they hate us”. I’d like to see the proposed timeline for that, and what would constitute a satisfactory resolution.

    IMO, the “ban” would in place for the next several centuries – if the Don had his way.

    That any significant fraction of US citizens could agree with the proposal demonstrates just how infantile some people have become.

  18. PJ says:

    @Rick Blatt:
    There’s no downvotes in your own mirror. Just take a quick peek….

  19. Tillman says:

    This is an uplifting survey, presuming it’s not fatally flawed in some way. The days after Paris and San Bernadino were filled with a lot of assumptions about how the American people would react, and it’s fair to say this was the optimistic take at the time. Sure, the Republicans have a major issue, but I’m glad to see the entire country isn’t falling in line behind them.

  20. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Just so we are clear that Republican hatred, and animus for the Constitution, is not directed at Muslims alone:

    A Washington state man accused of posting threats on Fox Nation against employees of a Planned Parenthood partner in California was arrested by federal authorities last week, the Sacramento Bee reported.
    Scott Anthony Orton posted comments vowing to pay anyone willing to kill employees for StemExpress, according to the criminal complaint from the FBI. StemExpress is a biotech firm that came under scrutiny for its work with Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation program and was a target of anti-abortion “sting” videos.

    Let’s all remember that the Planned Parenthood videos have been thoroughly debunked as fiction. So Mr. Orten wanted to kill random employees over a myth.
    Nice group, Republicans are.

  21. JKB says:

    Maybe the responders supporting Trump are able to actually comprehend when someone says that they think it a good idea to stop issuing Visas to Muslims….TEMPORARILY. Or as Trump said, until US officials can get a handle on the threat.

    Not really that unreasonable when you actually hear what was said.

  22. Pch101 says:


    The Nazis did a fine job of clearly indicating when a passport holder from the Reich was Jewish.

    But in the modern era, religious affiliation isn’t included on passports. (To be fair, I suppose that you’ve never had a passport and would therefore have no idea about this.)

  23. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: remember, trump is essentially a semi-conservative democrat running as a republican. that 38% of independent voters are in favor is pretty telling as well.
    this whole thing is nonsense anyways- he’s not able to enact anything like this so it’s just a “what can i get upset about today” thing.
    there were 2 other democrat presidents who banned immigrants during some “troubling times” but no need to drag them through the dirt is there?

  24. MBunge says:

    Honestly, I’m less worried about the members of the general public who agree with a proposal that wouldn’t physically harm any Muslim on Earth than I am the members of our elite who hear Ted Cruz talk about nuking the Middle East and shrug their shoulders.


  25. KM says:


    Maybe the responders supporting Trump are able to actually comprehend when someone says that they think it a good idea to stop issuing Visas to Muslims….TEMPORARILY.

    I am extremely uncomfortable with the idea that the government is using a religion as a limit test and any supporter of the First Amendment should be too. To be able to deny a visa to a Muslim, you must first be able to determine if they are one. As I’ve posted before, I do not want the American government deciding who is or who isn’t a member of a faith and codifying proper religious behavior as guidelines to check against. Once you give that power away, it’s a absolute bitch wrestling it back. Right now you might be OK with testing to see if someone’s Muslim by offering a pork sandwich but you’ll be horrified to have them check later on to see if you’re Christian by the length of your hair and hemlines (like Holiness movements preach).

    How long is temporary? A few weeks, months, years? We had a embargo on Cuba well past the point where our main enemy ceased to exist but the proxy bore the brunt of our inertia. How many taxes were “temporary” and we’re still paying on them years later? Temporary for the government means “until I feel like stopping for political gain” – it’s not a measure of time but of intent.

  26. James P says:

    OF COURSE we support the plan.

    There is no reason to have those terrorist camel jockeys in this country. Their values are antithetical to ours. Islam is a violent dangerous death cult. It supports murder, rape, and pedophilia (read the Hadiths).

    The further we keep Islam away from this country the better off we will all be.

    If they want to worship their “god” allah, let them do it in Saudi Arabia – not here.