Who Believes that the Federal Government Seeks to Take Over Texas?

May 17th, 2015
in econ_news

by Fabius Maximus, FabiusMaximus.com

Summary: The Jade Helm military exercise has sparked an urban legend. Polls showing who believes fringe theories act as x-rays illuminating the American polity. Some of the results are expected if alarming. Some are unexpected and hence even more valuable.

Follow up:


  1. A funny question.
  2. Answer by ideology.
  3. The Evangelicals speak.
  4. The Tea Party speaks.
  5. Answers by age.
  6. Answers by gender.
  7. Answers by preferred candidate.
  8. Conclusions.
  9. For More Information.

(1) A funny question

The multi-state military exercise known as Jade Helm has aroused an unusually strong reaction among elements of the public. For details see the Wikipedia entry, the Snopes page, and the Washington Post story. These went ballistic when Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas State Guard to monitor it

"to ensure that Texans' safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed during the eight-week training period ..."

In response Public Policy Polling® creatively asked an interesting question in a survey done last week. The results are amazing, and become more so when examined more closely.

Public Policy Polling, May 2014

(2) Answer by ideology

A breakdown of the answers by ideology gives a more interesting perspective. This weird theory has believers on both extremes, another example of commonality of thinking among the far Left and Right. The political spectrum is a circle, not a line.

Public Policy Polling, May 2014

(3) The Evangelicals speak

Modern American Evangelicals are unusually susceptible to political extremism, quite a change for this core American constituency.

Public Policy Polling, May 2014

(4) The Tea Party speaks

No surprise to these results. A desire to reform America makes extremists more dangerous to the rest of us, as they believe so many things that are not so.

Public Policy Polling, May 2014

(5) Answers by age

Again not a surprise - both the young and the old are susceptible to weird theories. It's typical of the young, but is this common among the old? Or is something unusual happening in America?

Public Policy Polling, May 2014

(6) Answers by gender

Not a significant difference between the genders.

Public Policy Polling, May 2014

(7) Answers by preferred candidate

This highlights the differences between the candidates better than anything else I've seen. Note the wide spread of belief in this theory from 15% (supporters of Christie) to 76% (Perry).

Public Policy Polling, May 2014

Blind Liberty

(8) Conclusions

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, ...
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

- "The Second Coming" by Yeats (1865-1939).

(9) About the survey

"Public Policy Polling® interviewed 685 Republican primary voters and 600 Democratic primary voters nationally from May 7th to 10th. The margins of error for the surveys are +/-3.7% and +/-4.0% respectively. 80% of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone with 20% interviewed over the internet to reach respondents who don't have landline telephones." {From the report.}

Public Policy Polling logo

(10) About Public Policy Polling®

"Businessman Dean Debnam founded Public Policy Polling (PPP) in 2001 to address inefficiencies in public policy surveys. Debnam, current President and CEO of PPP, has over 30 years experience in creating and growing businesses as well as an active interest in politics and public policy.

"... Public Policy Polling was formed to measure and track public opinion in an affordable way. PPP employs Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology to poll quickly, cost-effectively, accurately and on a wide range of issues." {From their website.}

(11) For More Information

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