(AP/John Minchillo)

New poll indicates exactly who's supporting Donald Trump — and the GOP should be worried

Empowering the most vile segment of the Republican base probably isn't the best idea


Scott Eric Kaufman
September 1, 2015 9:01PM (UTC)

The question of precisely which segments of the Republican base are responsible for insurgent candidate Donald Trump's dominance in the polls has been answered, and the answer isn't pretty -- but it's really not surprising.

By a significant majority, Trump's supporters consist of the relatives you've been forced to block on Facebook because you'd finally seen enough pictures of President Barack Obama's face superimposed onto the body of a chimpanzee or suicide bomber. Public Policy Polling's latest national poll found that 66 percent of Trump's supporters believe Obama is a Muslim, compared to only 12 percent who believe he's Christian. (How soon they forget Jeremiah Wright!)

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Sixty-one percent of Trump supporters aren't convinced that the president was born in the United States, which isn't surprising, given that just last month Trump rekindled his status as one of the birther movement's most prominent advocates, saying that he still doesn't understand "why [Obama] wouldn’t release his records."

Even if he were born in the United States, however, that doesn't mean that Trump supporters would allow him to have citizenship, as 63 percent favor amending the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship.

Trump was pleased with the results of the poll:

The views of Trump's supporters are only unique to him in their extremity, as a majority Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's supporters, for example, also believe that the president isn't a United States citizen, and a majority of Christie supporters also believe him to be a Muslim.

The poll did provide some surprises, as 78 percent of likely Republican primary voters indicated that they support criminal background checks on people wishing to purchase firearms, and 49 percent support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. Of course, if any of the current crop of Republican candidates were elected, the odds of either of those things happening are very, very slim.

Donald Trump's Most Insane and Controversial CommentsDonald Trump's Most Insane and Controversial Comments

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Anti-immigration Aol_on Donald Trump Immigration Islamophobia President Barack Obama




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