Reuters' rolling average survey of likely voters shows a dramatic surge in support for Donald Trump's proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigrants. Support reached a majority days before the devastating terror attack by a radicalized Muslim on a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead and 53 wounded (6 critically). As of Tuesday, the support remained at 50 percent, while opposition to the ban continued to fall.
In an over 20-point swing since May 31, more likely voters now say they support a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants than oppose it. As of June 14, two days after the tragedy in Orlando, 50 percent of voters agree with Trump's proposal, while 42 percent disagree and 8 percent remain undecided.
The question now is how will the massacre in Orlando — carried out by the radical Muslim son of a Taliban-sympathizing Afghan refugee — impact the poll when its 5-day rolling average does not include pre-attack survey results. Trump's clarification of the limits of his ban in his speech following the attack might also play a role in national opinion on the issue.
In his most significant speech of the campaign, Trump responded to the tragedy by standing in solidarity with the LGBT community, warning about the dire threat of radical Islam, and further refining his initial call for an outright ban of Muslim immigrants, explaining that he would use his executive power to temporarily halt all immigration of Muslims from terror-threat countries.
"When I’m elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there’s a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies until we fully understand how to end these threats," he said. "After a full … long overdue security assessment we will develop a responsible immigration policy that serves the interests and values of America."
Trump went on to condemn political leaders on the left, like Hillary Clinton, for failing to recognize the reality of the threat we face. Here is an excerpt of his remarks:
[J]ust a few weeks before San Bernardino, the slaughter, that’s all it was was a slaughter, Hillary Clinton explained her refusal to say the words “radical Islam.” Here is what she said, exact quote, “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” That is Hillary Clinton. …
We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer. Many of the principles of radical Islam are incompatible with Western values and institutions.
Remember this, radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti- American.
I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, Jewish people are targets of persecution and intimidation by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence.
This is not just a national security issue. It’s a quality of life issue. If we want to protect the quality of life for all Americans — women and children, gay and straight, Jews and Christians and all people then we need to tell the truth about radical Islam and we need to do it now.