Polls, Politics, and Polemics
A few notes about this poll:
The group that sponsored this (Public Policy Polling) focuses on polls useful to the Democratic party. There are a number of polls I can think of that would be quite unflattering to Democrats, but you’d have to look elsewhere for something like that. And any pollster who would dare such a stunt would be written off as a hack organization by Democrats, who wouldn’t get past the bias to consider the results.
If asked whether you support bombing Agrabah, how would you respond if your only answers were “Yes,” “No,” and “Not Sure?” Certainly, many of these people knew it was fictional but they had to give some kind of answer. Given that the song about this place includes the line (in the original movie), “where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face,” I might well have answered “Yes” myself. Is saying that you would NOT bomb a fictional city any more ridiculous than saying “Yes” or “I don’t know?”
This question was asked near the end of a very long survey. Exactly how much attention is one giving to a survey at this point?
It should be noted that Democrats were also polled, but the published results are much more detailed for Republicans. A couple highlights:
- 28% of Democrats age 18-45 also responded “Yes.”
- 45% of all Democrats said they weren’t sure.
It’s true that fewer Democrats wanted to bomb a fictional city, but this says nothing about whether they knew it was fictional. Democrats are probably just less likely to want to bomb anything at all. It’s unclear what the point of the question is. If it is to prove that more Republicans think Agrabah is a real place, then it has not done so. If it is to demonstrate that Republicans are more committed to the war on our Middle Eastern enemies than Obama, then I think we knew the answer to this already.
Within those identifying as Republican, the breakdown of those saying “Yes” is as follows:
- Very liberal: 24%
- Somewhat liberal: 50%
- Somewhat conservative: 25%
- Very conservative: 31%
So, overall, the left side of the party was more likely to say “Yes.”
Another interesting but unrelated result is that, contrary to expectation, those who identify as very conservative or Tea Party are more likely to support Cruz over Trump.
Most of those who reference this poll link only to the GOP results sheet:
Here are the full results: