A Third of Republicans Think It’s OK to Refuse Service to Muslims

I’m never quite sure how seriously to take survey results, and today Paul Waldman points to a new PRRI survey that I really, really don’t want to take seriously. Here it is:

Thanks to a baker in Colorado, we’re all accustomed to the idea that conservatives think business owners should be free to refuse service to gay people if their refusal is based on religious belief. But apparently large numbers of them also think it’s fine to refuse service to Muslims, Jews, and African Americans.

If it’s religiously based, of course.

As it happens, there are a disturbingly large number of Democrats who also think this kind of discrimination is OK. But there’s an odd difference. Among Democrats, there’s apparently a single, smallish contingent—around 14-19 percent of the total—that thinks it’s OK to discriminate against anyone. But among Republicans, it varies. About 18 percent think it’s OK to discriminate against blacks compared to 47 percent who think it’s OK to discriminate against gay people. Jews and Muslims and atheists are in the middle. This suggests that, for whatever reason, there’s a liberal bloc that, on principle, thinks businesses should be allowed to discriminate however they want. Conservatives, by contrast, don’t think that. They endorse discrimination more or less strongly depending on how much they dislike the group in question.

So to circle back to the beginning, I wonder how seriously to take this? Obviously the Colorado baker case has gotten everyone’s attention, which is why the numbers supporting discrimination have gone up over the past five years. But does this also mean that this is, like so many other things, basically just a tribal question these days? That is, your answer is less about discrimination itself, and more about simply having the view associated with your side? I hope so. But I fear it might not be.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.