I read that headline to my wife, and she chuckled, “Oh, where Aladdin lives? How nice of them.” Yes, where the Disney character Aladdin lives and the central location of the popular 90’s kids’ animated movie of the same name.
According to a poll conducted by WPA Research, 44% of Democrats support taking in refugees from the fictional city. Breitbart reported:
WPA Research asked Democrats “Would you support or oppose allowing refugees from Agrabah to be re-settled in the United States?” In response, 44% of respondents said “yes.” Young Democrats, between 18 and 34, were especially eager to help the mythical refugees, with 66% saying they would support taking them in.
The question of whether or not the U.S. should accept refugees from Syria has been publicly debated for several weeks, especially since the terror attacks in Paris and, more recently, in San Bernardino, California. Republicans tend to oppose taking the refugees, with several Republican governors saying they would fight any effort to settle refugees from the war torn country in their state. So the question about refugees from Agrabah, while not a real place, does track with a real question about refugees that has been in the news.
A week ago, fellow writer Michael Minkoff wrote about a similar poll that found that 30% of Republicans supported bombing the fictional city. Of course, in that poll, 19% of Democrats supported it also.
That didn’t mean that Democrats were wiser and picked up on the trick question better than the Republicans did. Democrats are just less likely to want to bomb a foreign country, regardless of whether they’re familiar with the location or not.
As evidence that Democrats aren’t any smarter (in fact, a little dumber), this recent poll showed that a larger percentage of Democrats fell for the trick question than Republicans did.
Of course, neither of these polls really proves anything. Perhaps there were many respondents who reasoned this way, “Well, Agrabah isn’t even real, but if it were, I guess I would support bombing it, because it’s a Muslim city in the Middle East.” Or, “Agrabah is a fictional city, but if it were real, I think we should take refugees from that city, because it would be the right thing to do.” Maybe I’m giving respondents way too much of the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they really are just a bunch of dumb people.