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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Political bloggers have never had a friend like Democratic-aligned firm Public Policy Polling, who are getting a lot of giggles from their latest survey gauging the attitudes toward military intervention among grassroots voters in each party.

The poll asked: “Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?” The result among Republican primary voters was 30 percent in favor, to 13 percent against, and 57 percent not sure; and among Democratic primary voters, only 19 percent were in favor, 36 percent against, and 45 percent not sure.

However, the country of “Agrabah” does not exist — it was the fictional Middle Eastern kingdom in Disney’s Aladdin, released back in the 1992 holiday season. This does lead us to wonder: Which response to this poll would actually have been most accurate for a respondent who recognized that name? Would a “No” answer still give the impression that the person thought Agrabah was a real country, and would “Not sure” also fail to get across a true understanding?

Bill Kristol, the arch-neocon and champion of the Iraq War, even got in a decent laugh at the poll result:

In the Republican presidential horse race, PPP showed Donald Trump ahead nationally with 34 percent, followed by Ted Cruz at 18 percent, Marco Rubio 13 percent, Jeb Bush at 7 percent, and Ben Carson with 6 percent. Perhaps unsurprisingly, The Donald’s supporters are most strongly in favor of bombing Agrabah, with 41 percent in favor, 9 percent again, and 51 percent not sure. (The numbers can add up to more than 100 percent, due to rounding.)

Also note: This poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday — entirely after this week’s Republican debate Tuesday, which focussed on terrorism and national security.

Also late Friday, the new Fox News poll, Trump has a whopping 39 percent, Cruz 18 percent, Rubio 11 percent, Carson 9 percent — and Jeb at 3 percent. This poll was also conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, after the debate.

Earlier in the week, two national polls that were released before the debate also showed Trump way ahead. The ABC News/Washington Post poll had Trump ahead with 38 percent, then Cruz at 15 parent, Rubio 12 percent, Carson 12 percent, and Bush 5 percent. In addition, Monmouth University had Trump at 41 percent, Cruz 13 percent, Rubio 10 percent, Carson 9 percent — and poor old Jeb at only 3 percent.

On the Democratic side, those same four national horse race polls all show Hillary Clinton way ahead, with results ranging from 56 percent to 59 percent, Bernie Sanders ranging mostly from 26 percent to 28 percent (but a high of 34 percent in the Fox poll), and Martin O’Malley from 2 percent to 9 percent.

So have a happy weekend everybody — and be wary of any presidential candidate who (perhaps in the fashion of Chris Christie and “King Hussein of Jordan”) says they’ll form an alliance with the noble Prince Ali Ababwa.

Photo: Jafar, villain of Disney’s Aladdin, via Wikimedia Commons.

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