New Poll Finds Anti-Muslim Sentiment Frighteningly High

Call it Trumpism, an ad-hoc term for the cresting wave of white Republican resentment that Donald Trump has been surfing like Duke Kahanamoku. Some find it fascinating. Late-night comics like Stephen Colbert have been treating it like it’s hilarious.

But a lot of people take Mr. Trump completely seriously, and support him fervently. So when do we start being frightened for this country?

A poll came out today. It’s just one poll in one Southern state, North Carolina, by one polling outfit (Public Policy Polling, or PPP) with Democratic Party ties, asking questions of a few hundred Republican primary voters.

But still, these results:

“Do you think a Muslim should ever be allowed to be President of the United States, or not?

A Muslim should be allowed to be President of the United States: 16 percent

A Muslim should not be allowed to be President of the United States: 72 percent

Not sure: 12 percent”

“Do you think the religion of Islam should be legal or illegal in the United States?

Islam should be legal in the United States: 40 percent

Islam should be illegal in the United States: 40 percent

Not sure: 20 percent”

Do these people know what it means to outlaw Muslim worship? Do they teach history in the North Carolina schools? Do they know what would happen if we closed mosques, arrested worshipers and prayer leaders, imposed religious tests for public office? Are these overwrought questions, or do the ugly answers in this poll portend something seriously wrong: an outbreak of a deadly fever this country has seen many times before?

Poll: Obama’s a Muslim to many GOP voters in Alabama, Mississippi

After years of battling false claims and viral emails alleging that he is a Muslim, President Obama hasn’t gotten far among Republican voters in Alabama and Mississippi – about half still believe he is Muslim and about 1 in 4 believes his parents’ interracial marriage should have been illegal, a new poll shows. Of the republicans surveyed only 14 percent know that he’s actually a Christian. In Mississippi, the same poll showed that a majority of Republicans, 52 percent, believe the Muslim lie.

While there’s no question that far too many people buy into this propaganda, I’m not ready to condemn a majority of Mississippians based on this survey. PPP is a partisan organization that conducts automated surveys. That means it’s not clear who answered the questions and whether the sample is statistically representative.

The automated survey by Public Policy Polling, conducted over the weekend in advance of Tuesday’s GOP primaries in both states, showed Republicans Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich locked in a three-way battle for votes.

But in an indication of where the two states fall on the political spectrum, the polls also found continued skepticism among Republicans about Obama’s religion and that a substantial number of GOP voters continue to believe interracial marriage should be illegal.

The poll of Mississippi Republicans found that 52% said they believed Obama is a Muslim, 36% weren’t sure and only 12% said they believed he is a Christian. He fared slightly better in Alabama, where 45% said he is a Muslim, 41% weren’t sure, and 14% said he is a Christian.