Poll: Most want ban on Syrian refugees, not all Muslims
© Getty Images
American voters want Syrian refugees blocked from U.S. soil but oppose a similar measure targeting all Muslims, a new poll says.
The Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday found 51 percent of voters support blocking the refugees from the homeland, with 43 percent opposed.
But 66 percent oppose “banning people who are Muslim from entering the U.S.,” with just 27 percent backing that policy.
“American voters are making a distinction between Syrian refugees and Muslims in general,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
“A bare majority says keep the Syrians out, but an overwhelming majority rejects proposals to ban all Muslims from our shores. Concern about a terror attack is widespread, but it is more likely lurking around the corner than imported from a distant land an ocean away, voters say.”
Wednesday’s results found that 55 percent say homegrown jihadists are the biggest threat to America.
About 18 percent picked radicalized foreign visitors, while 15 percent selected terrorists posing as Syrian refugees.
Roughly 55 percent of Americans say Islam is a peaceful faith, contrasted with 28 percent who say it encourages violence.
And 52 percent support sending ground troops overseas to fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), with 40 percent opposed.
About 52 percent supporting deployment also back sending a “significant number” of ground forces against the terrorist organization. Only 27 percent say the U.S. should lead military efforts against ISIS, however.  
About 66 percent favor America taking part in a global coalition against the extremist group instead.
Quinnipiac University conducted its poll of 1,140 registered voters via cell and landline phone calls nationwide from Dec. 16 to Dec. 20. It has a 2.9 percent margin of error.
Americans are anxious about accepting Syrian refugees after several major terror attacks worldwide earlier this year.
He has repeatedly defended the measure as necessary for countering radical Islamic terrorism against American citizens.