Another awful Rasmussen poll

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The GOP-friendly polling firm continues to struggle with the basic understanding of terrorism investigations. Here's a finding from Rasmussen's poll in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day attack [emphasis added]:

Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters think the attempt by the Nigerian Muslim to blow up the airliner as it landed in Detroit should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act. Only 22% say it should be handled by civilian authorities as a criminal act, as is currently the case.

Flashback: Rasmussen advertised the same ignorance in the wake of the Ft. Hood handgun massacre in November, when the polling firm asked whether that attack should be handled by the military as a terrorist attack, or by civilian authorities as a criminal one.

We highlighted the obvious flaws in the question back thend. And guess what? The the flaws still hold today:

Why is it an either/or question? Why are respondents asked to pick between a "military" terrorist investigation and "civilian" criminal investigation? It makes no sense. First of all, a terrorist investigation, by definition, is a criminal one. Second, it's the FBI (i.e. a "civilian" authority) that has been investigating "terrorists acts" in this country for generations. Civilian authorities launch terrorist investigations all the time, so why does Rasmussen pretend that only "military authorities" do that? Why does Rasmussen suggest that if civilians investigate Ft. Hood, then it won't be a terrorist investigation?

Why did Rasmussen formulate a question that makes no sense?

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