A clear majority of voters supports President Donald Trump’s travel ban on visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
Polling on the travel restrictions has varied wildly since the Trump administration first unveiled the first executive order in late January. But after months of litigation and controversy, six-in-10 voters back the ban — and the survey suggests the actual policy may be more popular when separated from the president.
Asked whether they support or oppose the State Department’s “new guidelines which say visa applicants from six predominately Muslim countries must prove a close family relationship with a U.S. resident in order to enter the country,” 60 percent of voters say they support the guidelines, and only 28 percent oppose them.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult question doesn’t mention Trump, nor does it refer to the president’s executive orders on immigration. That contrasts with other polls, which mostly show greater opposition to the policy. An Associated Press-NORC Center poll last month showed a 57-percent majority of Americans thought courts were acting rightly in blocking the travel ban. That was conducted before the Supreme Court’s per curiam decision last week to let some elements of the ban go into effect while the high court waits to hear the case in the fall.
Republicans overwhelmingly back the restrictions, the poll shows. Eighty-four percent of GOP voters support the ban, while only 9 percent oppose it. But the policy is also popular among independent voters: 56 percent support it, compared to 30 percent who oppose it. Democrats tilt slightly against the ban, with 41 percent supporting it, and 46 percent in opposition.
The wording of the poll question in the new survey differs from back in March, after Trump signed a revised executive order in an effort to comply with lower-court rulings against the initial ban. In March, respondents were asked if they "approve or disapprove of a revised executive order that prohibits persons from six predominantly Muslim countries without visas from entering the United States for 90 days and halting the processing of refugees for 120 days." Back then, 56 percent of voters approved of the order, and 33 percent disapproved.
"Since we last asked about Trump’s travel ban, we’ve seen a drop in those who oppose the executive order," said Morning Consult Chief Research Officer and Co-Founder Kyle Dropp. "Though, we’ve also seen an uptick in those who do not have any opinion on the matter or have yet to settle on one."
Though the poll shows solid support for the ban, it also suggests voters are open to broader exemptions for visitors from those countries who have family living in the United States than the ones outlined by the State Department. Eighty percent of voters think travelers from those six countries should be admitted to the U.S. if they have a parent living in America, and 78 percent think they should be admitted to join a spouse or child in the country; all three are permitted under the directive.
Nearly three-quarters, 73 percent, think travelers with a sibling in the U.S. should be admitted, which the policy allows. Sixty-seven percent think travelers with a grandparent in the country should be admitted, though the policy allows neither grandparents nor grandchildren from claiming those relationships to obtain a visa.
The policy allows travelers from the six countries to enter if they have a parent, parent-in-law, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, or half sibling, including step relationships, in the country.
But grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and any other “extended” family members may not claim those relationships.
The poll was conducted June 29-30, surveying 1,989 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.
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