Majority of Americans reject Trump's ban for Muslims entering the US, poll finds

A new CBS News poll indicates that the majority of Americans do not support a travel ban for Muslims entering the United States, but the concept remains attractive among some segments of the Republican base.

Mark Lennihan/AP/File
Travelers pull their luggage as they walk to a bus stop, Nov. 25, in New York. Republican presidential contender Donald Trump sparked a heated debate this week when he proposed implementing a ban on Muslims entering the United States. A CBS News poll found that the majority of Americans reject that idea.

Donald Trump’s recent controversial comments that indicate he would support a travel ban for Muslims entering the United States, a comment that he has upheld, isn’t getting a lot of support from most Americans.

In a recent CBS news poll, 58 percent of Americans said that they would oppose such a measure, while only 36 percent thought that it would be a good idea.

When Mr. Trump first proposed the so-called “Muslim travel ban,” many Republicans were swift to denounce these ideas. House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a press conference that “What was proposed was not what party stands for or country stands for." Former Vice President Dick Cheney also said that the proposed ban “goes against everything we stand for and believe in” as a nation.

The CBS poll also found that most Americans were opposed to the idea of a national database that would collect and catalogue the names of all Muslims living in the US: 46 percent were opposed, while 44 percent were in favor.

But among the Republican base, they remain attractive ideas: the CBS poll also found that along party lines, 54 percent of Republicans were in favor of a Muslim travel ban, with 45 percent of Republicans also feeling that such a ban would make the country safer from terrorism.

"I think it should be shut down for now until you find something, a better program in place," Reggie Johnson, a Trump supporter, told CNN outside the Republican candidate’s rally in Charleston, South Carolina. "I mean this is a free country for [what that’s] worth but I think it does need to be shut down until they get a cap on things."

However, as the Atlantic’s David A. Graham notes, while such polls do take in consideration the general political feeling of party affiliates, they should not be viewed as more than a “litmus test” until election season.

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