Nearly two-thirds of GOP voters back Donald Trump’s Muslim ban
A pair of polls Thursday revealed that about two-thirds of Republican voters support Donald Trump’s plan to bar Muslims from entering the country, putting pressure on other GOP presidential candidates to re-evaluate attacking the idea as “un-American.”
Voters overall reject Mr. Trump’s call, which has been disavowed by leaders from around the globe, by Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. and by pundits who call Mr. Trump a bigot and his plan an assault on freedom of religion.
But Republican voters saw it differently. A Bloomberg Politics poll showed that 65 percent of Republican voters back the ban, and a Rasmussen Reports poll showed support of 66 percent.
Mr. Trump also has surged in overall support for the Republican nomination in a CBS/New York Times poll with 35 percent support — 19 percentage points higher than his closest rival.
Republican campaign strategist Jim McLaughlin said Mr. Trump’s rivals miscalculated when they attacked his plan, underestimating the level of frustration in the electorate with President Obama’s national security policies.
“Our base and Republicans in general and a lot of independents and swing voters don’t trust this president when it comes to their national security right now,” he said. “To some extent, he’s made them desperate.”
He said Mr. Trump’s plan was ridiculous and likely would never become law. To voters, though, it sounds better than doing nothing.