Almost two-thirds of likely GOP primary voters support Republican front-runner Donald Trump's call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, according to a new Bloomberg Politics/Purple Strategies PulsePoll conducted Tuesday.
The online poll, released Wednesday, shows that 65 percent of likely Republican voters agree with Trump's controversial comments. On Monday, Trump said: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," according to CNN.
Even when the pollsters explained both sides of the argument to voters - noting that "leaders from across the political spectrum have condemned this policy" as un-American and poised to make the U.S. "less safe by alienating the allies we need to fight ISIS" - support for Trump's proposal remained relatively unchanged, at 64 percent.
"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, according to Bloomberg. "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."
While Republicans largely favor Trump's proposal, only 18 percent of Democrats support the idea. Overall, 37 percent said they support a ban on Muslims, while 50 percent oppose it.
The poll also found that Trump has the highest favorability ratings - 65 percent, just 1 percentage point higher than Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and 4 percentage points higher than Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. However, Trump also had the highest unfavorability ratings of the three candidates whose favorability was measured, at 33 percent, compared to Rubio's 22 percent and Cruz's 26 percent, notes The Hill.
The survey was conducted among 605 likely 2016 general election voters and has an overall margin of error of 4 percentage points. The margin of error for likely Republican voters is 7 percentage points.
A separate USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Tuesday found that if for some reason Trump leaves or is kicked out of the GOP presidential race and decides to run as an independent candidate, 68 percent of his Republican supporters say they would still vote for him, which would almost certainly open the door for a Democrat to take the White House in 2016.