ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER…. A new Research 2000 poll conducted for Daily Kos asked respondents a rather straightforward question: “Do you believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America or not?” Since the president was born in the U.S., ideally, the results would be around 100%.
They weren’t. There was, not surprisingly, a significant partisan gap. Only 4% of Democrats are confused about the president’s place of birth. The number is slightly higher among independents, 8% of whom got it wrong. Among Republicans, though, 28% — more than one in four — believe President Obama was not born in the United States.
For a crazy, demonstrably false, racist idea, these are discouraging numbers.
But I was especially surprised by the regional breakdowns. In the Northeast, West, and Midwest, the overwhelming majorities realize the president is a native-born American. But notice the South — only 47% got it right and 30% are unsure.
Outside the South, this madness is gaining very little traction, and remains a fringe conspiracy theory. Within the South, it’s practically mainstream.