WASHINGTON, D.C. — Most Americans are siding with Republicans and believe President Barack Obama should halt plans to accept Syrian refugees into the United States, a new poll shows.
A Bloomberg Politics poll released Wednesday, November 18th found that 53% of American adults don’t want Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S., while 28% say the Obama administration should proceed with its plan to accept 10,000 refugees next year without religious screening, and 11% say only Christians from Syria should be allowed in.
The results come amid a heated debate in the wake of the attacks in Paris.
Republican presidential candidates and congressional leaders have warned that terrorists could sneak into the pool of Syrian refugees allowed into the United States if the resettlement program — designed to aid those fleeing civil war and the Islamic State — isn’t halted.
The poll found a split along partisan lines. Among Republicans, just 12% want the Syrian refugee resettlement program to continue, while 69% want it ended. With Democrats, however, 46% would continue the program while 36% would shut it down.
There was a similar partisan divide on whether the United States should send troops to Iraq or Syria to fight ISIS. Overall, 44% said troops should be sent there while 45% said they should not be sent. Among Republicans, it was 64% to 27% in favor of sending troops; among Democrats, it was 59% to 31% against sending them.
Both parties largely agreed that Islam is not an inherently violent religion. Just 28% of all Americans — including 32% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats — said the religion is inherently violent, while 64% — 61% of Republicans and 76% of Democrats — said it is not.
The poll was conducted November 16-17 by Selzer & Co., a polling outfit based in Iowa. It includes 628 adults — including 230 Republicans and 245 Democrats. The findings with all adults include a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.