Republicans Support for Muslim Ban Is Higher Than Support Trump

As a data geek, I was intrigued by the opinion polls & Trump's call for banning Muslims. Trump's call for banning Muslim entry to the US was swiftly condemned by almost all leaders. If it is such an unpopular position, then why did Trump stake out such an extreme position? Does he like to lose elections?

Sure enough, the data held some interesting nuggets. Here is a Washington Post - CBS Poll on December 14th 2015 showing 59% of Republican voters supporting a ban on Muslims entering the US.


Here is an NBC/WSJ Poll on December 10 2015 showing 42% of Republicans supporting a ban on Muslims entering the US.


If you follow support Trump's polling numbers across various polling firms, you will realize that Trump's ceiling for support is about ~20-30% among Republicans. A Monmouth University Polling gave a 41% share to Trump, a new high for the candidate AFTER he called for the ban on Muslims entering the US .

So, if a higher share of Republicans want to ban Muslims from entering the US than those who support Trump, then why condemn Trump? Isn't he only saying what his voter base wants to hear?