Fully 84% of Republicans oppose taking in tens of thousands of unscreened Syrian Muslim ‘refugees,’ compared with just 40% of Democrats. The leading GOP presidential candidates view Muslims as fair game for increasingly harsh words and so far, that strategy is winning support from conservatives influential in picking the nominee, not to mention independents and some democrats of every race.
UK Daily Mail Many Republicans are heartened by strong rhetoric addressing what they view as a threat to national security by Islam itself, analysts say. Because Muslims are a small (mainly Democrat) voting bloc, the candidates see limited fallout from what they are saying in the campaign.
‘I think this issue exists on its own island,’ said Steve Schmidt, a Republican political consultant who ran Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. ‘It’s highly unlikely to cause a political penalty, and there is no evidence that it has.’
Since the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, GOP front-runner Donald Trump has said he might want to register certain Muslims in the U.S. and surveil radical American mosques.
‘Donald Trump is already very well-known for being brash and outspoken and is appealing to a group of people – an increasingly large segment American voters, of every race, who seem to like that kind of tough talk,’ said John Green, director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.
Rival Ben Carson said allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. would be akin to exposing a neighborhood to a ‘rabid dog.’ And he would favor barring Muslims from holding office if they refuse to denounce sharia law.