Democrats and Trutherism

Last week, in one of the latest failed attempts to close the loop on political conspiracies, Ben Smith blogged one of the internals from the definitive 2006 Scripps poll on “9/11 Trutherism.”

“How likely is it that people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?” the poll asked.

A full 22.6% of Democrats said it was “very likely.” Another 28.2% called it “somewhat likely.”


This question is open to just a little misinterpretation. After all, it’s well known, and true, that there were unspecific warnings about a mounting terrorist attack and they were not followed up on. But I’ve now seen the other questions and crosstabs from the poll. There were more specific conspiracy scenarios, and Democrats disproportionately agreed with them.

How likely is it that the Pentagon was not struck by an airliner captured by terrorists but instead was hit by a cruise missile fired by the United States military?

Only 11.9 percent of all voters believed that this was “somewhat” or “very” likely, but 21.1 percent of Democrats did.

How likely is it that the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York was aided by explosives secretly planted in the building?

A full 15.9 percent of all voters bought that; the number rose to 24.8 percent among Democrats.