Smoke rising from the Syrian border town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) following the US-led coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State targets near Mursitpinar border crossing on Jan. 23, 2015 in Suruc, Turkey.
Photo by The Asahi Shimbun/Getty

Maybe we’ve always been at war with Agrabah

Public Policy Polling has a well-deserved reputation for asking cheeky questions – in the middle of legitimate, proper surveys – that stand out for being funny. Today’s gem, however, is special, even by PPP standards.
Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?
Support bombing Agrabah 30%
Oppose bombing Agrabah 13%
Not sure 57%
And what, pray tell, is Agrabah? It’s a fictional city in a Disney movie called Aladdin. In other words, nearly a third of the country, asked about a made-up place with a kinda sorta Middle Eastern-sounding name, is ready to launch a bombing campaign.
I should note that I never saw the movie, and I suppose it’s possible that Agrabah is some kind of unpleasant place that the public would feel hostile towards – but it’s still a rather bizarre result.
For what it’s worth, there was a partisan difference in the results: a plurality of Democratic primary voters opposes bombing the imaginary place, while a plurality of Republicans are ready to launch a military offensive against the place that doesn’t exist.
Postscript: Let’s pause to celebrate the fact that a majority of respondents said, effectively, “Huh?” Often in polling, respondents feel an unstated pressure to give an opinion, even about people or priorities they know nothing about. It’s reassuring so many resisted that urge in this case.