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Poll: Americans Inclined to Ban Syrian Refugees, But Not All Muslims


FILE - Migrants and refugees are seen walking after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border near Gevgelija, Nov. 16, 2015.

FILE - Migrants and refugees are seen walking after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border near Gevgelija, Nov. 16, 2015.

A new survey has found that while a majority of Americans would ban Syrian refugees from the country, most disapprove of "banning people who are Muslim from entering the U.S.," as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed.

The Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday found 51 percent of people oppose allowing Syrian refugees to enter the U.S.; 43 percent support the policy. The Obama administration is planning to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. over the next year.

At the same time, two-thirds of those polled were against Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from the U.S. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats said they oppose the proposed ban, as did 51 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of independent voters.

"American voters are making a distinction between Syrian refugees and Muslims in general," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The poll also found 52 percent of U.S. voters support sending ground troops to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria while 40 percent oppose such a plan.

But only 27 percent of those surveyed say the U.S. should be leading the fight against the jihadist militants, while 66 percent say the U.S. should be part of a coalition, not in the lead.

On the domestic front, most poll participants were "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about climate change, with 69 percent saying they would like to see the next president support policies to combat global warming.

Americans were more evenly divided on the issue of U.S. gun laws. Even though 55 percent said it is "too easy" to buy guns in the United States, 50 percent of those polled opposed stricter gun laws, with 47 percent supporting them.

The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 1,140 registered voters between December 16 and 20, with a 2.9 percentage point margin of error.

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