Public Policy Polling’s latest survey of South Carolina Republicans yields some shocking results for those who assume most of their fellow Americans don’t take issue with gays living in the country and believe it was a good thing the Confederacy was vanquished 150 years ago.
The poll, which involved 897 likely Republican primary voters who were contacted Sunday and Monday, revealed significant support for banning homosexuals from the country (20 percent in favor), shutting down U.S. mosques (29 percent), creating a national database of Muslims (47 percent), banning Islam (25 percent), and allowing South Carolina to hang the Confederate flag on the state capitol grounds in Columbia (54 percent).
In fact, more than a quarter of respondents (30 percent) said they wished the South had won the Civil War.
Sixty percent of South Carolina Republicans support banning Muslims from entering the United States. While that result is largely in line with what New Hampshire exit polls indicated last week, perhaps more surprising is the finding that one in five South Carolina Republicans favor banning homosexuals from the country.
The results are even uglier when confined to the state’s Donald Trump supporters, a group that made up 35 percent of the sample. (Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio tied for second with 18 percent support each, John Kasich came in fourth with 10 percent support, and Jeb Bush and Ben Carson each have less than 10 percent support.)
Trump’s support in South Carolina is built on a base of voters among whom religious and racial intolerance pervades. Among the beliefs of his supporters:
-70% think the Confederate flag should still be flying over the State Capital [sic], to only 20% who agree with it being taken down. In fact 38% of Trump voters say they wish the South had won the Civil War to only 24% glad the North won and 38% who aren’t sure. Overall just 36% of Republican primary voters in the state are glad the North emerged victorious to 30% for the South, but Trump’s the only one whose supporters actually wish the South had won.
-By an 80/9 spread, Trump voters support his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. In fact 31% would support a ban on homosexuals entering the United States as well, something no more than 17% of anyone else’s voters think is a good idea. There’s also 62/23 support among Trump voters for creating a national database of Muslims and 40/36 support for shutting down all the mosques in the United States, something no one else’s voters back. Only 44% of Trump voters think the practice of Islam should even be legal at all in the United States, to 33% who think it should be illegal. To put all the views toward Muslims in context though, 32% of Trump voters continue to believe the policy of Japanese internment during World War II was a good one, compared to only 33% who oppose it and 35% who have no opinion one way or another.
“New York values,” indeed.
The South Carolina Republican primary is Saturday. While PPP’s survey indicates Trump is doubling up Cruz and Rubio and has a plurality of supporters across a range of demographic groups, it also suggests the race could tighten between now and the weekend — 29 percent of likely voters report they could still change their minds before casting their ballot on February 20.