NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new CBS News poll tested voter reaction to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country temporarily – and the poll revealed a sharp political divide.
As CBS2 Political Marcia Kramer reported Friday, Trump said last week that Muslims – tourists and immigrants alike – should be kept out of the United States.
“We just can’t afford anymore to be so politically correct,” he said.
But the new CBS News poll finds a majority of Americans come down on the side of what Trump called political correctness.
A total of 58 percent of respondents said the United States should not ban Muslims from other countries from entering the United States, while 36 percent would support such a ban.
A total of 67 percent said such a ban would go against the founding principles of the nation, while 25 percent said it would keep with the founding principles.
The hot-potato political issue has a sharp political divide. A total of 54 percent of Republicans said they support a ban on Muslims entering the country, while 73 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents said they oppose the idea.
But although the shoot-from-the-lip billionaire is still atop the leaderboard, the CBS News poll does show movement for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has moved into second place.
Cruz now has the endorsement of Bob Vander Plaats, a prominent Iowa social conservative, who has backed the last two winners of the Iowa caucuses.
“I really believe and expect Senator Cruz to be the nominee in 2016,” Plaats said.
Trump certainly does not think so. On Friday morning, he fired an anti-Cruz tweet – one of his preferred methods of communicating with the world.
“People are looking for who is prepared to be the commander in chief. Who understands the threats we face? Who am I comfortable having their finger on the button?” Cruz said.
The poll also found that Americans are divided about whether the federal government should keep a database of Muslims in the United States. A majority said they did not think Muslims were more sympathetic to terrorists than other Americans.
The margin of error for the poll was plus or minus 4 percent.