Two-thirds of Republican voters back Trump's calls for ban on Muslims entering US, poll finds

The billionaire's support among voters has not been hurt one bit by his latest controversy

Two-thirds of Republican voters back Trump's calls for ban on Muslims entering US, poll finds

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at the Burlington Memorial Auditorium. Image: Charlie Neibergall / AP/Press Association Images

While much of the world has rebuked Donald Trump for his demand for an outright ban on all Muslims entering the United States, voters in the US have only grown more fond of the billionaire businessman in the wake of his controversial comments.

More than two-thirds of Republican primary voters favour Donald Trump's call for a “total and compete” ban on Muslims from foreign countries entering the United States, with more than one–third saying it makes them more likely to vote for him.

A survey by Bloomberg Politics/Purple Strategies Pulse Poll – conducted online on Tuesday – found that 37% of all likely US general election voters support Trump’s demands for a ban.

“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, of Purple Strategies, said.

"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."

The polling questions asked:

“This week, Donald Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslims who are citizens of foreign countries from entering the United States. Do you favour(sic) or oppose this proposal?”

All voters: 37% said they favour the call, with 50% opposed and 13% undecided.

Republican voters: 65% support the call, 22% oppose it and 13% don’t know.

Democrat voters: 18% favour, 75% oppose, and 7% are undecided.

After getting the answers for the first question, the pollsters then offered more information on the topic – including telling respondents that “leaders from across the political spectrum have condemned this policy” as a tactic that would only serve to make the US “less safe by alienating the allies we need to fight ISIS.”

The pollsters then asked a second question:

“Now that you’ve heard more, do you favour or oppose the proposal to temporarily ban all Muslims who are citizens of foreign countries from entering the United States?”

Despite the additional information, the results remained almost exactly the same.

All voters: 35% in favour, 53% opposed, 12% don’t know

Republicans: 64% in favour, 28% opposed, 9% don’t know

Democrats: 17% in favour, 75% opposed, 8% don’t know

The poll also asked respondents if the issue now made them more or less likely to vote for Trump.

One third (37% to be exact) of Republican voters said they were now more likely to back Trump, while just 16% said they were less likely, and 46% said it had no impact.

Of all voters (including Democrats), 18% said it made them more likely to vote for him, 33% said less likely, and 44% said it had no impact.

Trump’s remarks may not have caused the electoral backlash many would have hoped, but his overall approval – among Democrats and Republicans – is someway short of being Presidential material. Just 33% of all voters see him favourably, with 64% viewing him unfavourably. Hillary Clinton was seen favourably by 45% of respondents, and unfavourably by just 52%.

The survey also found that those who hold less formal educational qualifications – those without a college education – were more likely to back Trump’s stance on Muslims, as were evangelical Christians and white people.