Monday, January 30, 2017

All the news that's fit to fake: Polling on Trump's Muslim immigration ban

I was shocked when I saw the headline on Google News from
So I clicked to see more stories:
Quinnipiac University poll: Almost half of American voters support Trump’s immigration order
And there were lots more.

I smelled a rat, because polling on Trump's order could not possibly have started until Saturday and responsible pollsters try to avoid weekend-days-only polling because it is not a random sample and even trying to adjust by weighing doesn't work: for example, the 18-29 year olds you reach on a weekend are not representative of their age group.

And then I looked at the articles. The Quinnipiac poll was done January 5-9, when people could not possibly have supported "Trumps immigration order" because he wasn't even president yet.
And the question did not mention Trump's then-nonexistent order It asked about "suspending immigration from terror prone regions, even if it means turning away refugees."

The Rasmussen folks have been showing for a while that they've become a right-wing propaganda outfit, so I would have discounted them anyways, but their poll was done Jan 25-26, and Trump signed the order late on the 27th.

But curiously, Rasmussen asked specifically about the seven countries in Trump's order:
Do you favor or oppose a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here?
Do you favor or oppose a temporary block on visas prohibiting residents of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here? 
This shows that while Trump's folks did not consult with lawyers from the Justice Department, Homeland Security or the National Security Council, supposedly so the list wouldn't leak, they did give it to Rasmussen.

But it is a bullshit question. Implicit in the question is that there is a big problem screening out potential terrorists but there is simply no evidence of this.

And If it had been instead a ban on folks from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Aquinoestan, the same exact number would have said yes, despite all of them being U.S. allies. Well, except Aquinoestan, which doesn't exist.

And if you're going to use Trump's logic, those are the countries that should be banned, starting with Saudi Arabia. It is the most savagely barbaric country on the face of the planet, where the majority of the 9/11 attackers came from, the country where the most Americans have died in terrorist attacks, a hyper militarized absolute monarchy with only 20 million citizens and the third largest military budget in the world, and the purveyor of the ultra fundamentalist Wahabi ideology that is the inspiration for the ideologies of Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and so on.

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