Posted on March 29, 2016

Half of Americans Back Trump’s Temporary Muslim Ban

David Martosko, Daily Mail, March 29, 2016

A pair of new polls show Donald Trump’s more controversial ideas gaining traction on both sides of the political aisle even as the his Republican supporters grow more rabid in their enthusiasm for their billionaire populist hero.

The Morning Consult‘s tracking poll of more than 2,000 Americans found half of them support a temporary ban on non-citizen Muslims traveling to the U.S.–the proposal that has earned GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump daily condemnation from editorial writers and TV pundits.

In addition to 71 per cent of likely Republican voters, 34 per cent of likely Democratic voters and 49 per cent of independents now hold the view that Trump is right.

Among Democrats who support former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for president, more than one-third–37 per cent–say Muslims should be stopped at the border until the U.S. can better assess the national security threat from violent jihadis.

Another Trump campaign pledge, the return of waterboarding and other ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques in the war on terror, got a green-light from 45 per cent of Americans who talked to the Morning Consult’s pollsters.

Another 21 per cent remain undecided, leaving Trump plenty of room for persuasion as his juggernaut campaign marches forward.

Separately, a Gallup poll published Tuesday found that Trump has a massive advantage over his rivals in both parties on the crucial question of voter enthusiasm.

Voters were asked to rate the intensity of their devotion to their preferred presidential candidates, and The Donald came out far ahead of the field.

Among Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, 65 per cent of Trump’s backers say they are ‘extremely enthusiastic’ or ‘very enthusiastic’ about their choice.

Trump’s main remaining GOP opponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, scores just 39 per cent on that scale. Ohio Gov. John Kasich draws that level of fervor from only 33 per cent of his fans.

The pair of Democrats vying for the White House are also less likely than Trump to inspire unshakable devotion from their followers.

Clinton’s supporters are more enthusiastic than Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’–but neither reaches Trump’s orbit.

According to Gallup, 54 per cent of Hillary-backing Democratic voters say they are ‘extremely enthusiastic’ or ‘very enthusiastic’ about her. That number is 44 per cent for the Sanders camp.

All five major party candidates will be in Wisconsin leading up to the state’s April 5 primaries, marking the first time since the New Hampshire primary that both Democrats and Republicans focused all their political firepower on a single state at the same time.

Clinton is running 6 points ahead of Sanders in the most recent published poll. Trump and Cruz are neck-and-neck.