Washington: A majority of Americans strongly oppose leading presidential aspirant Donald Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the US and about 60 per cent have a favourable opinion of Muslims, according to a new poll. Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US is opposed by a solid majority of Americans, while almost four in 10 Republican primary voters support the idea, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found.
Those views within the party have helped Trump weather yet another political storm, as the poll found his favorability rating undiminished among Republican primary
voters over the last six weeks.
Some 57 per cent of everyone surveyed objected to the proposed Muslim ban with most of them saying they objected strongly while 25 per cent favoured it.
Among Republican primary voters, 39 per cent opposed and 38 per cent supported the idea, which has been the subject of heated debate since Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims’ entry into the country.
The poll also found that nearly 60 per cent of Americans have a favourable view of Muslims, a larger share than in polling conducted several months after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks by Islamic extremists.
The new survey also found that anti-Muslim sentiment among Republicans, though, is strong — half of Republican primary voters have an unfavourable view of Muslims.
The survey was taken after violent attacks by Islamist militants in Paris, the shooting massacre by a radicalised Pakistani woman and a Pakistani-American husband in San
Bernardino, California, and other places raised public concern about terrorism.
President Barack Obama has urged Americans not to respond by viewing all Muslims as a dangerous force, but Trump has called for a pause of Muslim immigration “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Despite wide criticism, including from most of his presidential rivals, the debate over Trump’s proposal has not substantially changed his standing with the public. When asked to rate their feelings about Trump, 59 per cent of adults said they viewed him negatively and 27 per cent saw him in a positive light—about the same as in late October. Among Republican primary voters, 51 per cent saw Trump in a positive light and 26 per cent negatively, nearly unchanged from late October.