Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump certainly stirred the political/religious pot this week when he suggested that Muslims not be let into the United States for the time being.
And a just-completed poll for UtahPolicy by Dan Jones & Associates finds that two-thirds of Utahns disagree with Trump’s Muslim stand while one-third agrees with it.
Trump, a New York billionaire businessman, is not popular in Utah, previous Jones polls on the presidential race show.
So not too much of a surprise that Trump’s controversial statements on Muslims – toned down a bit by Trump afterwards – are not popular here.
Especially after leaders of the LDS Church issued a statement quoting Mormon founder Joseph Smith on how Mormons need to be welcoming and accepting of people following the world’s major religions – including Islam.
However, Jones finds that most Utahns who described themselves as “very conservative” politically actually AGREE with Trump – putting them out of step with others living in the Beehive State.
And there is a real difference between men and women’s opinions on Trump’s Muslim stand – while both most men and women disagree with Trump, women by ten percentage points disagree more.
Thus, Utah women are more accepting of Muslims amongst us than are men.
— Among all Utahns, 34 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” agree with Trump’s stand that the United States should keep all Muslims out for the time being, until – as Trump put it – we find out what is going on after the married couple attack in San Bernardino that left 14 people shot to death.
— 65 percent disagree with Trump (with 50 percent “strongly disagreeing” with the candidate), and 1 percent didn’t know or have an opinion.
Jones was in the field on a regular UtahPolicy monthly poll when Trump made his Muslim statements. Jones then included Trump’s comments in the poll, breaking out that question alone for this report.
On the Trump question, Jones polled 275 adults on Dec. 8, 9 and 10. The question has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.91 percent.
Trump has been roundly criticized for his Muslim comments, even by fellow GOP presidential candidates.
The only exception is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who while saying he doesn’t agree with Trump’s plan to keep all Muslims out of the U.S., said that Trump may be on the right path toward increased scrutiny of Muslims who are coming into the country.
Here’s how Jones’ demographics breaks out:
— 60 percent of men disagree with Trump’s Muslim stand while 70 percent of women disagree.
— 39 percent of men agree with Trump; 28 percent of women agree.
— Republicans do not agree with Trump on keeping all Muslims out of the U.S., at least for now, 56-43 percent.
— Democrats hate Trump’s idea, 92-6 percent.
— Political independents disagree with Trump, 65-32 percent.
— Those who told Jones they are “very conservative” actually SUPPORT Trump’s no-Muslims stand, 52-47 percent.
— All other political philosophy designations – from “somewhat conservative” to “very liberal” – disagree with Trump by large majorities.
— Younger Utahns really, really don’t like Trump’s idea – those 18-24 do not agree with him, 85-13 percent.
— Older Utahns are more accepting of Trump’s stand, but still most are against. Those 45-54 disagree, 57-41; those over 65 years old disagree, 59-39 percent.
Finally, LDS Church leaders got into the issue by restating comments made by the religion’s founder and first prophet, Smith, back in the 1840s when questions arose about Mormon acceptance of other faiths while the Mormons were living in Nauvoo, Ill.
Jones polled after that LDS statement was made, and finds:
— A third of “very active” Mormons still agreed with Trump’s remarks on banning Muslims from the U.S.
— 66 percent of Utah “very active” Mormons said they disagree with Trump, and 1 percent didn’t know.
Members of other religions are way against Trump.
— Catholics disagree with him, 81-18 percent.
— Protestants disagree with him, 69-31 percent.
— While those with no religion disagree with Trump’s stand on banning Muslims, 84-16 percent.
When Jones finishes with all of his poll sampling, UtahPolicy will publish updated numbers on this question, as well as new presidential candidate preferences and other top issues of the day.
UtahPolicy and Jones are the only entities regularly measuring public opinion in Utah and Idaho (Idaho Politics Weekly).
Jones has polled in Utah for more than 40 years and is recognized as the leading pollster in the Mountain West.