Do you support bombing Agrabah?

The country doesn’t actually exist. But that doesn’t matter: In a 2015 poll, about half of respondents expressed opinions on this made-up military action.

“People don’t want to admit when they haven’t thought much about a topic,” writes political scientist Justin Buchler, who explains why Americans often answer polls with opinions they don’t personally hold.

Also today:

Top story

People line up to vote in the 2008 election in Arlington, Virginia. Rob Crandall/

Voters often parrot the party line, even when polls suggest otherwise

Justin Buchler, Case Western Reserve University

Voters are primarily partisans, and they respond to party signals -- even when they claim otherwise.

Politics + Society

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Ethics + Religion

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From our International Editions

Today’s quote

“Obama would have been a good Democratic president in the 1950s, when everything was going all right between the two parties and the United States hadn't made exorbitant and dangerous commitments abroad.”


Why Barack Obama was particularly unsuited to live up to the ideals of the Nobel Peace Prize


Nick Lehr

Nick Lehr

David Bromwich

David Bromwich

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