On Monday, Donald Trump officially backed away from his previous plan to temporarily ban all Muslims from coming to the United States, instead proposing a ban on immigrants and refugees from dangerous regions and an ideological test -- "extreme vetting," in his words. In detailing these new plans, he didn't even say the word "Muslim."
But by Tuesday night, in the comfortable confines of a Sean Hannity-hosted town hall, Trump made clear he's not done applying extra scrutiny to Muslims. He even suggested racial profiling might be in order.
"Whether it's racial profiling or politically correct, we'd better get smart," he said in the town hall, which aired Wednesday night. Trump also said Muslims needed to help root out extremism in their midst: "And if they're not going to help us, they're to blame also."
Trump's varying Muslim proposals have been controversial, to say the least, with people arguing they are unconstitutional or unworkable or even just plain un-American.
What we can say with certainty is this: They are just bad politics. They are the kind of thing Trump keeps doing because it worked in the primary and he doesn't want to, or perhaps doesn't know how to, change in the general election.
A new Pew Research Center survey is the latest to suggest Trump's fixation on Muslims isn't helping him become president. Pew asked people whether Muslims in the United States should be subject to more scrutiny than other Americans. Just 30 percent said Muslims should face more scrutiny, while 64 percent disagreed.
Even Trump backers were somewhat split. While 57 percent approved of additional scrutiny, 37 percent disagreed.
This poll appears to address the kinds of things Trump talked about in the Hannity town hall more than his immigration proposals; the Pew survey refers specifically to "Muslims living in the U.S.," not immigrants or refugees being screened for entry into the country.
But it's not the first poll to suggest Americans aren't on board with Trump's plans to scrutinize Muslims.
In a CBS News-New York Times poll last month, 6 in 10 Americans (59 percent) opposed Trump's idea to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States, while 35 percent agreed with it. A McClatchy-Marist College poll showed the split at 63/33.
Opposition to the ban largely has depended on which poll you looked at, but the overwhelming majority of polls have shown significantly more opposition than support. And all recent polls paint it as an electoral loser.
Part of the reason is that most Americans don't seem nearly as suspect of Muslims as Trump does. A USA Today-Suffolk poll in June showed just 24 percent said American Muslims required special scrutiny, while 54 percent said they are "loyal citizens and allies in the battle against terrorism" and 19 percent were unsure. A December CBS News poll showed 67 percent said a Muslim immigration ban "goes against the founding principles of this country."
Trump's campaign is clearly trying to move beyond the blanket Muslim immigration ban that it proposed in December, and that's a good idea. But Trump can only change it up so much, and he's not going to stop talking about how Muslims deserve of special scrutiny.
As with most everything about his campaign, it suggests a guy who's stuck in the political past and still running a primary campaign in the general election.