Opinion Shift and Stability: The Information Environment and Long-Lasting Opposition to Trump’s Muslim Ban

  • Kassra A. R. OskooiiEmail author
  • Nazita Lajevardi
  • Loren Collingwood
Original Paper


On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed executive order 13769, which denied citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries entry into the United States. Opposition to what was termed the “Muslim ban” quickly amassed, producing sudden shifts to the information environment and to individual-level preferences. The present study examines whether within-subject shifts against the ban lasted over an extended period of time. Evidence from a three-wave panel study indicates that individual-level opinions, once they shifted against the ban, remained fairly stable one year later. Analysis of a large corpus of cable broadcast transcripts and newspaper articles further demonstrates that coverage of the ban from February 2017 to January 2018 did not dissipate, remained largely critical, and lacked any significant counter-narratives to potentially alter citizens’ preferences once again. Our study underscores the potential of capturing the dynamics of rapid attitudinal shifts with timely panel data, and of assessing the durability of such changes over time. It also highlights how mass movements and political communication may alter and stabilize citizens’ policy preferences, even those that target stigmatized groups.


Public opinion Muslim Americans Race and ethnic politics Immigration American identity Political communication 



We would like to thank the past and current editorial team of Political Behavior and the three anonymous reviewers for their helpful feedback and suggestions. Special thanks is also extended to Erin Cassese, Seulgi Lee, Charles Mills, Emily Tohma, Ali Valenzuela, and participants at the UCSD PRIEC, UCR Mass Behavior Brown Bag Series, Princeton Center for the Study of Democratic Politics workshop, and APSA panel on the racialization of Islam and Muslims.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kassra A. R. Oskooii
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nazita Lajevardi
    • 2
  • Loren Collingwood
    • 3
  1. 1.University of DelawareNewark USA
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing USA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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