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The problem is, of course, that the Bowling Green Massacre never happened.
The fictitious terror incident was cited by White House adviser Kellyanne Conway in a number of recent interviews in defense of Trump’s travel ban. The executive order that initiated the ban, which is currently on hold by federal courts, prevented citizens from several Muslim-majority countries across the Middle East and Africa from entering the U.S.
Despite a retraction and apology by Conway, her remarks and mythical massacre have carried on. The new poll, published by Public Policy Polling, shows that 51 percent of those who back the ban also cite the fabricated massacre as a reason their position of support.
When this particular statistic is weighed in against the result of another poll by Emerson College Polling, which found that 49 percent of voters trusted Trump more than the media, it’s not hard to imagine how misinformation might propagate.
The new PPP poll, however, found that 66 percent of participants believed that the travel ban was poorly executed. When the executive order came into effect, airports were thrown into chaos as border control attempted to implement the travel restrictions and vet travelers. Voters are concerned about his ongoing fight with the federal judiciary, with 53 percent saying they trusted judges to make the right decisions for the U.S.
Other findings show that less than half of Trump voters knew that 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass was dead, after Trump’s recent comments during Black History Month that alluded to the notion that he did not know who Douglass was. On that note, 46 percent of Trump supporters polled said they supported the concept of a White History Month.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.