Speed Reads


Solid majority of Americans oppose Trump's Muslim ban, new poll finds

A solid majority of Americans, 57 percent, oppose Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's plan for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the U.S., with 46 percent saying they strongly oppose it, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. Only 25 percent of respondents favored the plan, but the split was more even among Republican primary voters — 39 percent opposed it and 38 percent supported it (27 percent strongly supported it; 23 percent strongly opposed it). A Bloomberg poll released Wednesday found support for Trump's plan at 65 percent among Republicans.

The controversial anti-Muslim proposal hasn't changed Trump's favorability numbers much since the last WSJ/NBC poll in late October — among all respondents, 59 percent view him negatively (including nearly half who view him very negatively), while 27 percent view him favorably. Among GOP primary voters, a bare majority, 51 percent, view Trump favorably, versus 26 percent who see him negatively.

Peter Hart, the Democratic pollster who helps oversee the survey, compared Trump to America's 40th president. "Donald Trump has been the most successful candidate in driving the dialogue and defining the stakes since Ronald Reagan in 1980," he said. "The party elite fears him, the public is transfixed by him, and the core Trump voter reveres him. The Trump candidacy has defied political logic and the gravity of civil discourse."

Along with the partisan split, there are big age and gender gaps regarding Trump. Young people were less likely to have positive feelings about him (19 percent, age 18-34), versus 35 percent of those 50 to 64 and 32 percent of those 65 and up. Women are similarly less inclined to view Trump favorably, 22 percent, versus men, 32 percent. The poll was conducted Dec. 6-9 among 1,000 adults, with a margin of error of ± 3.1 points; the questions on Trump's Muslim visit ban were asked Dec. 8-9 and have a margin of error of ± 4.4 points. You can read more at The Wall Street Journal and NBC News.