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Poll: 30% Of Republicans Think Obama Is A Muslim

They remain a minority of both the population as a whole and the right in general, but the group of people who think the President is a Muslim is actually bigger than it was four years ago:

(CBS News) Americans — but conservative Republicans in particular — are more likely to mistakenly think that President Obama is Muslim than they were in 2008, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

Nearly half, 49 percent, of registered voters surveyed correctly identified Mr. Obama as Christian, while 17 percent thought he was Muslim. In October 2008, as Mr. Obama was in the final stretch of his first presidential campaign, 55 percent of registered voters identified him as Christian and 12 percent identified him as Muslim.

The increase in voters who think the president is Muslim is more pronounced among registered Republicans, especially conservative Republicans. In 2008, among both conservative Republicans and Republicans overall, 16 percent said Mr. Obama was Muslim. Now, 30 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of conservative Republicans think he is Muslim.

Nearly a third? That’s just nuts.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The way I see it this is a sun rises in east sort of story. About a third of self-identified Republicans are the evangelical Protestant, social issue extreme right. That was the case when the likes of Robertson and Buchanan used to toss their hats in the ring. It’s the case today. I think 20 years from now it’ll still be the case. Certainly it’s not a growth demographic, but obviously it’s a pretty f’n stubborn demographic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  2. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Not that surprising. In this case, Muslim = Other.

    I’m willing to bet that a very similar percentage of Republicans believe that Obama is un-American, has never truly been vetted, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  3. It is a flaw of the human species. I’s been pointed out that our brains are not truth engines, they are survival machines. Often those two goals do not conflict. We want to know if that is really a tiger when it is 20 yards away. Later, at the campfire, it might be more important to agree, whatever the answer.

    People who identify Obama as a Muslim strengthen their position in the in-group and reinforce his position in the out-group.

    Tribal brains at work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  4. CSK says:

    Well, he drinks liquor, eats pork barbecue, owns a dog, and doesn’t require Michelle, Sasha, and Malia to walk around in mobile pup tents, so clearly he’s not a very good Muslim, is he?

    Seriously–with any politician, who knows the true state of his or her religious beliefs? There’s only one open atheist in Congress of whom I’m aware, but I’m sure a lot of those who publicly profess belief are in fact agnostic or simply indifferent to the whole question.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  5. Herb says:

    Sad…..100% of rational, intelligent people think these people are nuts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  6. al-Ameda says:

    In 2008, among both conservative Republicans and Republicans overall, 16 percent said Mr. Obama was Muslim. Now, 30 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of conservative Republicans think he is Muslim.

    After 4 years of Birtherism, and active Republican efforts to portray him as an outsider who does not believe in “American Exceptionalism,” it is very hard to understand why 30% of Republicans would believe that he’s a Muslim. I just do not understand.

    On the other hand, I suppose that, in the context of America’s dumbing down and the 2010 elections that turned the House over to Republican idiots, it’s not hard to understand that there are so many who believe this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. mantis says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The way I see it this is a sun rises in east sort of story. About a third of self-identified Republicans are the evangelical Protestant, social issue extreme right.

    So you’re saying what? Evangelical Protestants are crazy? Stupid? Gullible?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  8. legion says:

    @mantis: Yes.

    This has been another edition of simple answer to simple questions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. de stijl says:

    If Bobby Jindal is chosen as the Romney’s running mate (or if he runs for President in 2016), I wonder what percentage of Democrats will incorrectly think that Jindal is Hindu? How often will he be mockingly called Piyush?

    That 30% of Republicans think that Obama is Muslim (and up from four years ago!) is not just tribalism, but tribalism + xenophobia + epistemic closure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. @de stijl:

    Jindal? They already think he’s a exorcist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. SKI says:

    Sounds like another example of the 27% crazification factor. See here for its genesis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  12. mattb says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Not that surprising. In this case, Muslim = Other.

    I’d take it in a slightly different direction. Yes Muslim = Other, but more importantly:

    Muslim = Bad (or the Enemy)

    Remember the famous exchange:

    Woman: “I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him and he’s not, he’s not uh — he’s an Arab. He’s not — ”
    McCain: “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign’s all about. He’s not [an Arab].”

    source: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14479.html#ixzz21qBa5Fko

    While the word used here is “Arab” (versus “Muslim” as it’s typically remembered) McCain’s well meaning response suggests that opposite of “Arab” is “decent.”

    I suspect that some, perhaps significant, percentage of respondents in these polls know he’s not a Muslim, but still consider him to be the enemy (along with the pollster) and answered accordingly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. de stijl says:

    @john personna:

    They already think he’s a exorcist.

    They would be correct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Rob in CT says:

    @mattb:

    I thought that was really, really telling at the time. While everyone was busy praising McCain for pushing back, most people totally missed how wrong his response was.

    The correct response is: no, Barack Obama is not an Arab, though I’m not sure what the problem would be if he was of Arab descent. Neither is he a Muslim. He’s a Christian. Not that being a Muslim is, in and of itself, a strike against a candidate…

    Now I know that’s setting the bar high (and even my write-up is a bit clumsy). But really. The actual exchange used “Arab” as “Bad/untrustworthy person” and that part went unchallenged. We can assume she meant “Muslim” instead of Arab. But the problem is very similar (I’d rate Arab as worse, as that’s ethnicity. Islam is a religion and you can decide whether or not you wish to be a Muslim, just as you can decide whether or not to be Christian).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. @Rob in CT:

    I prefer to think McCain was doing the right thing, and going point-by-point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. michael reynolds says:

    They use “Muslim” because it’s finally penetrated their dim little brains that they shouldn’t use “ni**er.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  17. mantis says:

    @michael reynolds:

    They use “Muslim” because it’s finally penetrated their dim little brains that they shouldn’t use “ni**er.”

    Progress?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  18. Susan says:

    @mantis:

    He might not say it, but I will. Christianity no longer resembles anything that would have been recognizable even 100 years ago. What we have now is Industrial Christianity, to go with our industrial medicine, and industrial society.

    And yes, Evangelical Protestants are, for the most part, gullible – because they turn off what little critical thinking skills they have, and never check for themselves anything their leaders say, and possibly crazy, because they never see the hypocrisy inherent in the fact that they dress, talk, and act NOTHING like one would expect an actual Christian, one following the teachings of the Christ, to act. Who would Jesus hate on? Who would Jesus bomb? Who would Jesus deny homes and food to? I have read the bible cover to cover probably 50 times, and I really can’t recall Jesus ever turning away someone in need, nor Him ever maligning another’s religion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  19. Sidney18511 says:

    The goo is a cult. It functions like organized religion. They preach blind faith because they want them to be blind for a reason. They tell you not to question what they say, they make it a sin to think for yourself, and they make anything outside of that bubble evil and not of god. The greatest brainwashing occurs in these regilious hierarchy’s that exist to make them think that some Americans are better then others.
    While the whole time, those being sold this crap are on the lower rung of society. A “liberal” education is the very thing that shows them that there is life outside of their bubble, and that is why the teabags are against higher education.
    It is no secret, the right wingers do not like free thinkers. They like blind followers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  20. Sidney18511 says:

    I ment to type GOP not goo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  21. C says:

    See Obama refer to HIS MUSLIM FAITH on TV

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMUgNg7aD8M

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0