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Donald Trump is continuing to remold the Republican Party in his image

Donald Trump's idea of banning Muslims appears to be popular with Republican voters.
Donald Trump's idea of banning Muslims appears to be popular with Republican voters.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Not only is Donald Trump the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, but he seems to be reshaping the Republican Party in his image.

Here’s some evidence that that's happening: Huge majorities of Republican voters across five states last night told exit polls they would support a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

According to exit polls in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio, two in three Republican voters voiced support for the ban. In Missouri, support was even higher, with three in four voters in favor.

Placing a religious-based ban on immigration to the United States – a questionably constitutional proposal — certainly represents a steep departure from immigration policy instituted at any other time in American history. But in a sign of how quickly the idea caught on this year, both Ted Cruz and Chris Christie avoided condemning it when Trump raised the idea back in December.

It’s worth remembering that before Donald Trump rose as a force in GOP politics, this sort of proposal would have been considered far too extreme to introduce to a broad electorate. It is a testament to Trump’s prowess as a pandering politician — more than the evolving immigration views of Republican voters — that his idea has caught on with such fervor.