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The headlines surrounding the race for the Republican nomination to be the next President of the United States would make it seem as if the prospect of more Muslim tourists is a greater threat to security in the country than the daily mass shootings that dominate front pages across the nation.
Following candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to ban both foreign and domestic adherents to Islam from entering or re-entering the country we decided to ask Internet users in the U.S. what they thought about the proposal.
To get better insights we decided to run two surveys.
For question number one, we asked 1,500 people: “Should the United States prevent Muslim tourists from entering the country?”
We also decided to tweak the question a bit to provide a somewhat colorblind control group. So for question number two, we asked another 1,500 people: “Should the United States prevent tourists from entering the country based on their religion?”
The good news, since that is few and far between these days, is that roughly half of Americans don’t want people banned based on religion: 47.1% said that Muslims should not be banned while 53.6% said that religion in general should not be a factor. This 6.5% swing is greater than a margin of error, but smaller than we expected when commissioning the survey.
Important: This survey — not served to Skift users — was administered to two sets of 1,500 members of the U.S. adult internet population between December 11 and 15, 2015, through Google Consumer Surveys. The methodology is explained here.
While that margin is close, it isn’t when the responses get definitive. The top level results say that slightly less than a quarter (24.8%) of respondents say Muslims should banned from entering the U.S., while only 14% say religion should be a factor in banning visitors. The “no opinion” swing goes from 28% on question one to 33.6% on question two.
Below, the results break down by demographic.
We begin with question number one, followed by number two.
Question One: Barring Muslim Visitors
The Takeaway: 75.2% of respondents don’t want Muslim tourists banned. That’s the definition of a mandate.
The Takeaway: The older you are, the more likely you are to support banning Muslim tourists.
The Takeaway: People who live in cities are the least likely to support a ban on Muslim tourists. Despite the higher numbers in rural areas, the ban failed to win a majority in any of these demographics.
The Takeaway: If you make more than $150,000 a year, you are more likely to support banning Muslim tourists. But again, no majority.
Question Two: Barring Visitors Based on Religion
The Takeaway: The vast majority — 86.4% of respondents — believes religion shouldn’t be a factor in deciding who gets to visit America.
The Takeaway: Women are less likely to want people blocked from visiting the U.S. because of their religion.