Trump’s Idea To Shut Down Mosques Is Really Popular With Republicans

CREDIT: AP Photo/Steven Senne

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks at a news conference before a scheduled campaign rally, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Worcester, Mass.

A new survey released by Democratic pollster shows that shutting down mosques in the United States is popular with Republican voters.

The idea of stepping up domestic surveillance on U.S. mosques and even shutting some of them down — as France has promised to do recently following terrorist attacks in Paris — was floated this week by Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. Trump said he would “Yahoo News in an interview published Thursday. “We’re going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago,” he said.

Repbulican voters don’t seem to find this strategy “unthinkable,” according to a poll also released Thursday. Public Policy Polling found that 27 percent of Republican primary voters support that the idea of shutting down all mosques in the U.S. Just 38 percent said they opposed the idea, and 35 percent were unsure.

But among voters who are already committed to a candidate, the numbers become much starker. The poll found a higher percentage of Cruz and Trump supporters — 41 percent and 37 percent, respectively — support shutting down U.S. mosques. Among other top Republican candidates, just 17 percent of Carson supporters, 25 percent of Rubio supporters, and 12 percent of Bush supporters supported the idea.

Muslims in New York City particularly have been targeted by extreme surveillance, despite the fact that the NYPD’s program has been ineffective at building cases against terrorists.

Though Trump has explicitly advocated for the possibility of shutting down U.S. mosques, Cruz has painted a broader bush, saying he’d like to see America only accept Christian refugees from Syria and advocated for a higher tolerance of civilian casualties when going after ISIS.