Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-affiliated polling group based out of North Carolina, has released yet another poll riddled with intentionally troll-ish questions designed to highlight hyper-partisan biases and extreme, potentially toxic, opinions.
This time, PPP turned to Georgia, where the the real-estate mogul maintains a sizable lead over likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and polled 724 registered voters. The pollsters then presented the self-identifying Donald Trump supporters with leading questions, such as whether Hillary Clinton was complicit in a conspiracy to commit, and cover up, murder.
A large percentage of Trump fans polled decided to shrug and say, “eh, sure.”
The data, released Wednesday, found that half of pro-Trump voters polled believe Clinton had “some involvement” in the death of Vince Foster, who once served as a Deputy White House Counsel during Bill Clinton’s presidency. 13 percent of respondents said Hillary Clinton did not, in fact, help kill a lawyer, and 37 percent were not “sure one way or another.”
Furthermore, 31 percent of the Georgia Trump supporters said that they wished that the Confederacy had won the Civil War (a noncommittal 32 percent were not “sure one way or another” about whether or not it was a good thing that the Union emerged victorious).
And 50 percent of Trump fans support the Republican candidate’s habit of calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” with just 31 percent dissenting.
PPP pulls this sort of stuff all the time. “Americans are united in their dislike for teen pop sensation Justin Bieber,” the polling group found in May 2013, for instance. Last year, PPP found that 30 percent of Republican voters nationally supported the bombing of Agrabah. (Agrabah does not exist—it is the name of the fictional kingdom in the Disney classic Aladdin.)
The questions asked are sometimes tailored to elicit ridiculous answers, or at least ones vague enough to be thrown into the general category of ideological ridiculousness. The Vince Foster question was worded as, “Do you think Hillary Clinton was involved in the death of Vince Foster, or not?” for example.
The real conspiracy theorists here aren’t the Georgians and Trump-loving residents polled by PPP—it’s their preferred candidate and some of his closest allies.
Last week, Trump suggested the 1993 death of Vince Foster seemed “very fishy” and that (the patently absurd) theories about possible foul play are “very serious” ones indeed. He surrounds himself with people who allege that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian murderer, and that Bill is a cokehead. He was a leader of the racist birther movement. He entertains the idea that Ted Cruz’s dad might have helped Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate JFK.
Just a reminder: Donald Trump is about to emerge as the next standard bearer of the GOP.
Is it that much of a surprise that some of his supporters also dabble in this conspiratorial nonsense?