The unspeakable ugliness of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign went all the way to eleven this week when he announced his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, a move that has been roundly condemned by pretty much everyone you ask, and which immediately led to speculation that Trump is trying to throw this fight.
It’s early yet, but indications are that the ban is insanely popular with those pesky Republican voters. A Bloomberg poll released Wednesday showed that a full 65% of likely Republican primary voters approve of Trump’s plan. The poll was conducted online, but using recognized scientific polling methodology. Other polls taken this week have shown a jump in Trump’s support following the announcement of that plan.
Those preliminary results may end up cooling in the final analysis, but I wouldn’t bet on it. People are scared, and in that Bloomberg poll, even 18% of Democrats favored Trump’s plan. We’ve talked before about the reliability of certain types of polls, but in this case, the Bloomberg poll would seem to underestimate support for Trump’s plan, since it didn’t measure support among independents. Other recent polls, however, indicate that Americans are, indeed, terrified: 81% believe that ISIS terrorists are in the United States and have the resource to launch a major attack.
We’ll know more about the overall reaction to the Trump plan when more detailed polling is done, but I think you’ll see something close to 50-50 support when all’s said and done, and this election, unless something drastic happens, will turn on whichever candidate has the ability to make Americans feel safe. God help us.