The fictional location became a trending topic on Twitter shortly thereafter.
Jim Williams, a PPP spokesperson, told Mashable that the company got the idea to include the question after watching the recent GOP debate, which focused almost exclusively on the Middle East and the threat posed by radical Islam.
“We got the idea to see how far that might extend — if people would reflexively support bombing something that sounded vaguely Middle Eastern,” said Williams. He noted there was a lot of “overlap with the Trump crowd” in the 30% that said yes to question 38.
The polling firm, which polls mainly for Democratic clients, added on Twitter that it had asked the Agrabah question to Democratic primary voters as well — they were only slightly less in favor of carpet bombing the hometown of Aladdin, Abu, Carpet, Iago, Princess Jasmine and, of course, Genie.
Thirty-six percent of Democrats polled opposed bombing the fictional region and 19% supported it, versus 30% of Republicans, who supported it, with 13% opposed.
The poll, which surveyed 532 Republican primary voters from Dec. 16 to 17, also asked if Islam should be illegal in the United States (26% said yes), if they supported the policy of Japanese Internment during World War II (28% yes) and if authorities should shut down mosques (also 28% yes).
Click here to see the full results.
Including a joke question might seem odd to those who don’t follow national polling, but it’s something PPP has done at least once before.
In 2012, when the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan was in the news, pollsters asked voters if they supported a fictional “Panetta-Burns” debt-reduction plan. Nearly one in four said they did.
And in 1993, an editor for Spy magazine posed as a radio host and asked members of Congress if they wanted to “stop what’s going on in Freedonia” — a fictional country made famous by the 1933 Marx Brothers film “Duck Soup.”
Their answers ranged from, “I just think we need to take action to assist the people” to, “Yeah, it’s a different situation than the Middle East.”
One congressman, Representative Jay Inslee, who is now the Governor of Washington, was slightly more honest, saying, “I have to be honest with you, I’m not familiar with that proposal.”
“But,” he added, “it’s coming to the point now that a blind eye to it for the next 10 years is not the answer.”