A MAJORITY of Americans now agree with banning all non-citizen Muslims from the United States, according to a new poll coming less than four months after Donald Trump first proposed the policy.
A YouGov/Huffington Post poll published this week found that 51 percent of Americans now support the ban, up from 45 percent in December. The same poll also found strong support for Sen. Ted Cruz’s proposal to “patrol and secure” Muslim neighborhoods, with 45 percent of Americans in favor.
The poll was conducted through web interviews with 1,000 Americans from YouGov’s “opt-in internet panel using sample matching” and “weighted using propensity scores based on gender, age, race, education, political ideology, geographic region, and voter registration.” (YouGov has also conducted polls for the New York Times and CBS; high-profile statistician Nate Silver has written about its methodology here.)
The rhetoric about Muslims and undocumented immigrants during this election cycle has raised fears of an increasingly toxic political culture in the country. Throughout the election campaign, Republican politicians have expressed openly bigoted views about minority communities in the United States, in many cases to widespread public approval. Trump’s campaign kicked off with his characterization of undocumented Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” and has seemingly gained steam with every discriminatory remark made since.
While opinions on these issues often split along partisan lines, a majority of Americans now support policies like Trump’s, which would be both unconstitutional and discriminatory. Exit polling in some states shows nearly 80 percent of GOP primary voters in support of Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from the United States. Whether or not Trump is elected and able to implement the ban, such figures are a troubling reflection of what policies Americans would countenance if offered the chance.
“Even if Trump loses, we still lose,” says Haroon Moghul, a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. “He’s pulled much of America beyond the Constitution, and made it OK to advocate for bigotry again. He didn’t create this, but he’s taking years of hateful rhetoric to their inevitable conclusion.”
“Eight years ago, we congratulated ourselves on how we were allegedly the only country that could elect an Obama. Now we’re a country that would’ve banned his father from entering the country.”