51% of Trump voters think the "Bowling Green massacre" justifies Trump's Muslim ban

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

A new poll suggests that more than half of Trump voters believe the Bowling Green massacre is a prime example of why President Donald Trump's travel ban is so necessary.

Apparently they don't realize the "Bowling Green massacre" is a complete fabrication.

The new national poll, released on Friday by the North Carolina-based organization Public Policy Polling, surveyed 712 registered voters. When asked if they either disagreed or agreed with the statement, "The Bowling Green massacre shows why we need Donald Trump's executive order on immigration," a full 51% of Trump voters said they agreed that the supposed massacre was a justification for Trump's ban, while just 23% said they disagreed (for comparison, 90% of Hillary Clinton voters said they disagreed with the statement). 

But the "Bowling Green massacre" is a lie, a made-up terrorist attack that seems to have come straight from the mind of Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, who mentioned it in a Feb. 2 interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

In the interview, Conway criticized the press for not properly covering the event, which she said was carried out by two Iraqi refugees.

Conway at a forum in 2016
Source: 
Charles Krupa/AP

But there was never a terrorist attack in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Conway later claimed in a tweet that she "meant to say 'Bowling Green terrorists,'" linking to news coverage of the 2011 arrest of two Iraqi citizens who pleaded guilty to federal terrorist charges and admitted involvement with attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.

But that didn't mark the only time Conway mentioned the supposed massacre — it turns out she had brought it up in a January interview with Cosmopolitan, although the comment was never printed.

Nor is it the first time voters on the right have been tripped up by questions seemingly designed to expose a lurking Islamophobic sentiment. A survey conducted by the same group in 2015 asked Republican primary voters if they would "support or oppose bombing Agrabah," and a stunning 30% said they supported bombing it. Agrabah is, of course, the fictional setting of the Disney animated film Aladdin.

Despite countless stories debunking the "Bowling Green massacre," Friday's poll shows the made-up massacre has somehow wormed its way into people's heads as a real incident and is now being wielded as justification for the sweeping ban on refugees and immigrants that the Trump administration is currently fighting for in court.

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Anna Swartz

Anna is a staff writer for Mic covering breaking news. She can be reached at aswartz@mic.com.

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