Foreign Policy is NOIT about poll numbers…
Here IS a FiveThirtyEight polling review…
……Here’s what we do know….
1. In the context of terrorism, at least a plurality of Americans are OK with immigration bans.
The Trump administration has argued that this is not a ban on Muslims. Rather, they’ll likely argue, as the order itself does, that the policies are meant “to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States.” It’s not at all clear these policies will actually improve national security, but the American people have been more supportive of immigration restrictions in the name of counterterrorism. In a Quinnipiac University poll conducted in January, 48 percent of voters supported “suspending immigration from ‘terror prone’ regions, even if it means turning away refugees from those regions.” Forty-two percent were opposed. And a December Politico/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll found 50 percent of Americans were in favor of “banning future immigration from regions where there are active terrorist groups.”
2. But a majority of Americans oppose a religion-based immigration ban.
Just 41 percent of Americans supported a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country who are not U.S. citizens, according to an August 2016 ABC News/Washington Post poll. A slight majority (52 percent) were opposed. A July CBS News/New York Times survey, which asked a similar question, found only 35 percent of voters thought the U.S. should temporarily ban Muslim immigration.
It’s possible, however, that these polls understate support for Trump’s plan. The surveys by ABC News and CBS News were conducted by live interviewers and called cell phones — generally the most accurate way to conduct a poll. But given that banning Muslim immigrants could be seen as a politically incorrect position, some Americans may feel uncomfortable voicing support for a ban to a stranger in a telephone poll. Morning Consult and YouGov, which conduct surveys over the internet, found a small plurality of Americans support temporarily banning Muslims from entering the U.S.
How long these policies are left in place could also play a role in how the public responds to them. Trump’s immigration and refugee restrictions, at the moment, are only temporary. But his executive order opens the door to more bans in the future, which could prove more unpopular. In the December Politico poll, just 18 percent were in favor of “banning future immigration of people who are Muslim.” The longer Trump’s immigration restrictions remain in place, the more pushback he might encounter.
3. Americans seem OK with lowering the number of refugees accepted by the U.S., but outright bans are not likely to be popular.
Americans think the U.S. accepts too many refugees, whether Syrian refugees specifically or all refugees. In July 2016, when the U.S.’s goal was to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees in per year, an Associated Press/GfK Knowledge Networks poll found that 53 percent of Americans thought the U.S. should allow fewer Syrian refugees to enter the country. Only 11 percent thought we should accept more, and 33 percent thought that level was about right….
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