Wednesday afternoon, Bloomberg Politics released the first poll about Donald Trump's horrific proposal for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." The topline finding is pretty shocking: 65 percent of likely Republican primary voters agreed with Trump.
The poll was strikingly partisan. Only a small minority among likely Democratic primary voters supported it, resulting in only 37 percent of Americans supporting Trump's plan in total:
Interestingly, Bloomberg found that Republicans didn't change their minds even after being told that virtually all American political leaders (including Republicans) condemned Trump's comments. "When voters were provided with this additional information, support for the proposal remains essentially unchanged, with 64 percent of likely Republican primary voters saying they favor the idea," Bloomberg's John McCormick writes.
The poll, then, is just more evidence that Trump thrives on elites calling him out for being a bigot. It's the Republican primary electorate Trump is playing to. The Bloomberg poll is hardly an outlier:
- The American Values Survey, an annual poll from the Public Religion Research Institute released in November, asked Americans whether "the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life." Seventy-six percent of Republicans agreed.
- After Ben Carson said that Muslims shouldn't be president in September, a YouGov poll found that 83 percent of Republicans agreed with him.
- Thirty percent of Republican voters in Iowa, a critical primary state, told Public Policy Polling that Islam should be illegal.
It’s increasingly clear, then, that the GOP leadership isn’t just at odds with Trump on religious discrimination in immigration — it’s at odds with its own voters.