Statistic of the Day

STATISTIC OF THE DAY…. A New York Times/CBS News poll released this morning doesn’t exactly portray rank-and-file Republicans in a positive light.

[The poll] showed that Republicans who are considering making presidential bids will have to woo a party that largely identifies with the Tea Party movement — more than half of Republican voters said they considered themselves Tea Party supporters — and has questions about President Obama’s origin of birth.

A plurality of Republican voters, 47 percent, said they believed Mr. Obama, who was born in Hawaii, was born in another country; 22 percent said they did not know where he was born, and 32 percent said they believed he was born in the United States.

I might be able to spin this into a less-depressing result, noting that many of these Republican voters aren’t aware of the natural-born citizen language in the Constitution, and may not appreciate the extent to which they’re buying into a ridiculous, arguably racist, conspiracy theory with no foundation in reality.

But frankly, the effort not to believe the worst about the GOP base is a tough sell. When 47% of Republicans, literally years after the birther garbage was debunked, believe the president was born in another country, it reinforces the notion that there’s a deeply ugly strain of madness that runs through Republican politics.