Research Suggests Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Produced Rare Shift in Public Opinion

UCR Today

Far from its intended effect, the ban generated public opposition to the policy, according to a study co-authored by UCR’s Loren Collingwood
By Tess Eyrich on January 12, 2018
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Signed by President Donald Trump on Jan. 27, 2017, Executive Order 13769, commonly known as the “Muslim ban” or “travel ban,” inspired protests at U.S. airports.

Photo credit: KLH49 via iStock

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13769 on Jan. 27, 2017, effectively barring individuals from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days.
Within a day of his decree, thousands of protesters flooded airports around the country in opposition to what was quickly deemed a “Muslim ban,” and by March 6, the order had been formally revoked.
According to a political scientist at the University of California, Riverside, and his colleagues, visible resistance to the order in the immediate aftermath of its signing may have produced a rare shift in public opinion that resulted in mass opposition to Trump’s policy.
The shift was caused by “an influx of information portraying the ban as being at odds with egalitarian principles of American identity and religious liberty,” said researchers Loren Collingwood, an assistant professor of political science at UCR; Nazita Lajevardi of Michigan State University; and Kassra A. R. Oskooii of the University of Delaware.
Their findings, published last week in the journal Political Behavior, suggest the bounty of information that surfaced after the order went into effect — information that painted the ban as deeply un-American and in fact “incompatible with American values” — contributed to a broad-based increase in opposition to it.
The researchers compared the results of two surveys of the same 311 people — one conducted just days before the order’s announcement, and the other in the two weeks after. They found that among those respondents, more than 30 percent moved against the ban in the interim.

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