Predictably, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal for a complete and total ban on Muslims entering the U.S. has inspired outrage from the White House throughout the lamestream media, with many GOP leaders also chiming in in condemnation. Some, like the White House, have even called for Trump to drop out of the race altogether, while others — including the oft-invoked “conventional wisdom” — have suggested the controversial proposal could hurt and even be the final demise of the candidate’s campaign.
Well, if there’s one thing we should be learning this election cycle, it’s that “conventional wisdom” seems to have lost its mojo. Once again, a new poll suggests Trump’s controversial proposal is unlikely to hurt his campaign, at least during the primary campaign. In fact, more than a third of Republican primary voters say the proposal makes them more likely to vote for him.
This, I might add, despite what appears to be somewhat leading language in the poll questions, if you asked me.
From Bloomberg Politics:
Almost two-thirds of likely 2016 Republican primary voters favor Donald Trump’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S., while more than a third say it makes them more likely to vote for him.
Those are some of the findings from a Bloomberg Politics/Purple Strategies PulsePoll, an online survey conducted Tuesday, that shows support at 37 percent among all likely general-election voters for the controversial proposal put forward by the Republican front-runner.
“We believe these numbers are made up of some people who are truly expressing religious bigotry and others who are fearful about terrorism and are willing to do anything they think might make us safer,” Doug Usher, who runs polling for Washington-based Purple Strategies, said in his analysis of the findings. “This indicates that, despite some conventional wisdom expressed in the last 48 hours, this is unlikely to hurt Trump at least in the primary campaign.”
Side note here: in reading the poll questions, I didn’t find any questions directed toward getting at “religious bigotry”; any ideas where that idea might’ve come from? Could the pollsters’ bias be showing?
Support for Trump’s proposal remains virtually unchanged even after voters are told both sides of the argument. On one side, they were told that “leaders from across the political spectrum have condemned this policy” as one that will make the U.S. “less safe by alienating the allies we need to fight ISIS.” They were also told that Trump has said it is needed until more is known about the threat and that the nation “cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad.”
Interesting in the above background — telling “both sides of the argument” — how the pollsters chose to include how much support ONE side had. While the statement “leaders from across the political spectrum have condemned this policy” may be true, what about folks who’ve expressed support for Trump’s policy? Why mention one side’s support and not the other? Bias showing again?
Despite what appears to be bias slanted against Trump’s proposal, that didn’t seem to change the poll outcome.
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. That includes 52 percent who say they strongly support the proposal.
After being told about the idea, 37 percent of likely Republican primary voters say it makes them more likely to support the billionaire real estate mogul, while 16 percent say less and 46 percent say it has no impact.
While the controversial proposal doesn’t seem to hurt Trump with GOP primary voters, it does appear to hurt him in the general election.
Among all likely general-election voters, including Democrats and independents, 18 percent say it makes them more likely to back Trump, while 33 percent say less likely and 44 percent say it has no impact.
While Trump has considerable strength among likely Republican primary voters, the survey shows weakness for him in a general election. Including all likely voters, 33 percent view him favorably and 64 percent unfavorably.
That’s a worse favorability rating than President Barack Obama, who was at 51 percent favorable and 47 percent unfavorable in this survey. It’s also worse than Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who is seen favorably by 45 percent and unfavorably by 52 percent of likely general-election voters.
Will be interesting to see if these trends change as we continue to understand more about the growing threat of ISIS within our own borders.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]