Americans are divided on whether or not to ban Muslims from traveling into the country, but over two-thirds of Republicans back the idea
Donald Trump invited widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum, including fellow Republican candidates for president, after he called for a ban on Muslims travelling to the United States. Jeb Bush called Trump 'unhinged', while the Obama administration called the comments 'morally reprehensible'. The call for a ban on Muslims traveling to the United States came after the killing of 14 people by a Muslim married couple in San Bernadino, one of whom had recently immigrated to the United States.
Research from YouGov shows that Americans narrowly tend to agree (45%) rather than disagree (41%) with Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Respondents, who were not told in the survey that the statement was made by Donald Trump, differed significantly according to political affiliation. A large majority of Democrats (59%) rejected the idea of a Muslim travel ban, though 29% of Democrats do agree with it. Over two-thirds of Republicans (69%) endorsed the idea, and only 25% disagree with a Muslim travel ban. Independents were divided, with 42% agreeing and 37% disagreeing with a potential ban.
Other polls have found more significant opposition to Trump’s proposal. Notably, YouGov’s is the only to refer to the exact words from Trump’s statement, while others have asked questions about the principle of a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.
Trump's statements on Muslim travel have not significantly changed public opinions towards him. In a survey conducted November 19th to 23rd, after the Paris attacks but prior to San Bernadino or the call for a Muslim travel ban, 55% of Americans had an unfavourable view of Trump while 38% had a favourable view. 55% of Americans still have an unfavourable view of Trump while his favourables have dropped somewhat to 34%.
Predictably, opinion towards Trump is highly polarised. A large majority of Democrats (81%) and half of independents have an unfavourable view of him. Among Republicans, however, opinion is divided. While 58% of Republicans view Donald Trump favourably a significant minority (33%) have an unfavourable view of him. Aside from politics, young Americans are the most likely to view Trump negatively. 66% of under-30s view him unfavourably, while only 19% view him favourably. Among over-65s, 40% view him favourably and 54% unfavourably and among people aged 45 to 64, 41% have a favourable opinion of him.
Criticism of Trump also spread outside of the United States, as his claims about no-go areas in London led London's mayor Boris Johnson to say that 'the only reason I wouldn't go to parts of New York is the very real risk of meeting Donald Trump'.