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President Obama speaks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore Feb. 3, 2016 in Windsor Mill, Maryland.
Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images

Americans are split over whether their next president should speak bluntly about Islamic extremism or be careful not to criticize the religion as a whole, according to a new survey of Democrats and Republicans.

The survey, conducted by Pew Research Center, found that half of Americans believe the president should choose words on Islam carefully, while 4 in 10 think speaking bluntly is the best approach.

When broken down by party, 65% of Republicans and those who lean Republican prefer blunt talk, while 70% of Democrats and those who lean Democratic think the next president should tread carefully. Among Republicans who preferred speaking bluntly on Islamic extremism, a majority think that Donald Trump, 63%, or Ted Cruz, 61%, would make a good or great president.

The study also found that almost half of Americans believe a segment of the U.S. Muslim population is anti-American.

These surveys on Americans’ thoughts on Islamic extremism come in the wake of attacks late last year in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. As the 2016 presidential primaries are getting underway, the question of how to fight extremism has figured prominently in debates and some candidates’ platforms.

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