For establishment Republicans, current front-runner Donald Trump is their worst nightmare.
After leading in the polls for months, the real estate mogul won the New Hampshire primary after coming in second in Iowa, behind Ted Cruz, who doesn’t have many fans in the establishment either. In the next nominating event in South Carolina, Trump is posed to win again as the GOP scrambles to pick a party-approved candidate to take him on.
But, even if the GOP is successful in stopping the Trump machine, that leaves the problem of his supporters. The Trump campaign has given voice to many who were left out of the political process and now that they’re out, the GOP won’t be able to put them back in the bottle.
In a new poll of South Carolina GOP primary voters from Public Policy Polling, this divide is demonstrated in sharp terms. Trump supporters are more likely than other GOP voters to support a host of policies and ideas that are shall we say, far from the political correctness that Trump says he is against. (For each of the statistics, the margin of error is +/- 4.3 percent.)
A strong majority — 80 percent — of Donald Trump supporters are in favor of a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. That should come at no surprise since Trump has made the policy one key difference between himself and the other candidates. A majority of his supporters also support creating a national database of Muslims.
But Trump supporters take that even further. Nearly 1 in 3 also support banning gay people from entering the U.S. On the issue of religion, 1 in 3 also say Islam should be illegal in the U.S. Forty percent of his supporters say they support shutting down mosques in the U.S. (while 36 percent say they would oppose it). While the majority of Republican primary voters, and in some cases, the majority of Trump supporters, don’t agree with these ideas, the highest share of supporters agreeing also support Trump.
The ideas in the poll draw a sharp contrast between Trump and the establishment-approve candidates. On the issue of Japanese internment, during World War I, 61 percent of Jeb Bush supporters and 50 percent of Marco Rubio’s supporters oppose the policy. Among Donald Trump supporters, 33 percent oppose it while 32 percent support it and 35 percent say they aren’t sure.
Of Trump supporters in South Carolina, 16 percent believe whites are a superior race. Notably, the candidate with the next most support among white supremacists is actually Rubio with 9 percent. More Trump supporters say they wish the South had won the Civil War than say they are glad the North won — again, Trump supporters are the most likely to think this. On the issue of the Confederate flag, a full 70 percent support it hanging on the capital grounds. It was removed from the South Carolina statehouse after a racially-motivated shooting spree left nine dead in the state last year.