Donald Trump may be backing off elements of his proposed temporary ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States, but in the meantime, his original proposal has become way more popular than he is, according to many national polls.
Trump most recently said he was calling for a temporary ban on immigration from “areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States” — rather than all Muslims from anywhere.
But Trump’s poll numbers have been dropping lately; the Huffington Post’s aggregate of polling data shows that Trump has a 35 percent favorability rating, down from 37 percent in late May. Meanwhile, Reuters/Ipsos’s rolling five-day poll as of July 1 showed that 46 percent of Americans favor temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the country, up from 40 percent in late May.
An NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll conducted shortly after the deadly shooting in Orlando showed that 50 percent of Americans strongly or somewhat supported the ban, while 46 percent opposed it.
A Morning Consult poll released in mid-June found that 48 percent of Americans support the ban, with 40 percent opposing and 11 percent not offering an opinion. Majorities of Americans supported a temporary ban on immigration from a set of named Muslim-majority countries, such as Pakistan, Syria, and Iraq.
These numbers suggest that the ban has support from outside the hardcore pro-Trump base. The crosstabs on Morning Consult’s poll show that, among those who voted for Barack Obama in 2012, 32 percent strongly or somewhat support a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.
That kind of overlap also showed up in a Fox News poll last week. Just 6 percent of Democrats and 3 percent of African-Americans said they would support Trump over Clinton — but 19 percent of Democrats said it would make the country “safer” if Muslims were temporarily banned, as did 25 percent of African-Americans.
Support for the ban is stronger in some states. A University of Texas/Texas Politics Project survey released at the end of June found that 52 percent of Texas voters supported the ban. Support was particularly strong among GOP voters, with 76 percent supporting the ban, an increase of 13 points since the results of the same poll in February. Although most self-identified Texas Democrats opposed the ban, 26 percent said they somewhat or strongly support it.
The polling on the question is not entirely uniform. For example, a CBS News poll from mid-June found that only 36 percent of Americans supported the ban.
This polling suggests that an idea that would have been considered fringe in years past has been elevated to the mainstream such that it is likely to be an ongoing topic of political debate in the future, regardless of what happens to Trump.