Donald Trump’s supporters hate religious freedom, by the numbers

Public Policy Polling is out with a new Iowa survey today. In keeping with what other polling firms have found, they see Ted Cruz surging. However, unlike the Des Moines Register, Iowa’s polling gold standard, they don’t have him leading Trump yet. The Texas theocrat still trails America’s racist uncle by three points, 28 to 25, with Marco “Don’t Call Me A Bigot” Rubio in third with 14 percent.

However, as is the case with so many PPP polls, the most interesting data points in this poll were on the issue questions. After asking respondents which candidates they supported, the survey asked them whether they agreed with a number of policies that various candidates (in particular, Donald Trump) have proposed on the campaign trail, and then broke the agree/disagree ratios out by preferred candidate.

Which is to say, they found that Donald Trump’s supporters really don’t like Muslims.

From their summary:

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

-78% support Trump’s call to bans Muslims from entering the United States, to only 13% who oppose it. Overall 54% of Republicans support him on that to 28% who are opposed. Supporters of Cruz (62/20) and Carson (54/25) also favor a Muslim ban while backers of Rubio (28/48) and Bush (28/49) are opposed.

-65% of Trump voters think thousands of Arabs in New Jersey cheered the collapse of the World Trade Center, to only 11% who don’t think that happened. Overall 43% of Republicans think that event occurred to 29% who don’t. Supporters of Carson (44/10) and Cruz (45/26) agree with Trump’s that it happened while those of Rubio (24/47) and Bush (12/62) say it didn’t.

-59% of Trump voters support a national database of Muslims, to 18% who are opposed. Republicans as a whole are evenly divided on that issue, 40/40. Carson supporters (42/38) join with Trump’s in wanting a Muslim database but those of Cruz (38/42), Rubio (32/48), and Bush (19/62) are all against it.

-45% of Trump voters want to shut down the mosques in the United States, to only 23% who are opposed to doing that. Overall just 27% of Republicans support that to 45% who are opposed though. Supporters of all the other major GOP candidates are opposed to shutting down mosques- it’s 32/48 with Carson backers, 25/44 with those of Cruz, 9/66 with Rubio voters, and 9/69 with Bush’s.

-Finally as long as we were at it we decided we’d ask people if they thought Japanese internment had been a good idea. Among Trump voters 48% say they support the use of internment during World War II, to only 21% who say they oppose it. Overall just 29% of Republicans support that to 39% opposed, and supporters of all the other candidates are against it- 29/33 with Cruz voters, 23/54 with Rubio’s, 12/48 with Carson’s, and 13/56 with Bush’s.

I mean, wow. It’s no secret that Donald Trump has tapped into what was already a racist, nativist and outright conspiratorial bent in the Republican electorate, but the extent to which his supporters break with his rivals on the issue goes to show just how uniquely racist, nativist and conspiratorial Trump’s campaign has been. Let’s not forget, this is the same guy who gave an interview to Alex Jones.

It’s difficult to disentangle cause from effect in explaining why majorities and pluralities of Trump supporters agree with their candidate on these issues while majorities and pluralities of his opponents’ supporters don’t. For example, no one bothered to poll how many Iowa Republicans believe that “thousands of Arabs in New Jersey cheered the collapse of the World Trade Center” before Trump announced his candidacy, so it’s unclear whether Trump is simply winning a large chunk of voters who already believed that before the campaign, or whether they believe it now because Trump said it happened. And Trump, as we all know, has “the world’s greatest memory.”

Either way, the finding is pretty scary. Whatever the reason, those voters, and their corresponding and deeply worrisome thoughts about how the government should treat Muslims, are still there. By a two to one margin, Iowa Republicans who plan on supporting Donald Trump want to, for all intents and purposes, ban a religion.

One can’t help but wonder how many of them would support present-day Muslim internment. Maybe PPP will ask them next time.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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4 Responses to “Donald Trump’s supporters hate religious freedom, by the numbers”

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  2. BeccaM says:

    How many would support present-day Muslim internment? I’d say the numbers will be either close to or identical to the numbers you posted above, Jon. In particular, those Republicans who think there was nothing wrong, indecent, or racist about rounding up all ethnic Japanese Americans and imprisoning them without charges, trials, or reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.

    You think they wouldn’t do it to Muslims today? Of course they would. Their leaders are openly proposing mass deportations of anyone they don’t like. First it was Latinos and Hispanics, now it’s Muslims.

    Every fascist movement needs its scapegoats, and people forget sometimes the German Nazis didn’t stop at just the Jews.

  3. Hue-Man says:

    “Japanese internment”

    wiki is muddled on the numbers but it appears that of about 120,000 concentration camp prisoners, 80,000 were American-born citizens. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_Americans

  4. JaneE says:

    Trump’s supporters are anti-American. Theysay they love the constitution, but they hate the constitutional rights of citizens with a passion. Except the 2nd amendment rights of course.

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