27% Of Americans Don’t Believe Obama Was Born In The U.S.

On the President’s 49th birthday, a new CNN poll shows that the birther myth remains firmly ingrained within the minds of a quarter of the electorate:

Washington (CNN) – It’s surely not what the leader of the free world wants for his birthday. But, for a stubborn group of Americans, conspiracy theories about President Obama’s birthplace are the gifts that keep on giving.

The president celebrates his 49th birthday Wednesday. On the same day, a new national poll indicates some Americans continue to doubt the president was born in the United States. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, more than a quarter of the public have doubts about Obama’s citizenship, with 11 percent saying Obama was definitely not born in the United States and another 16 percent saying the president was probably not born in the country.

Forty-two percent of those questioned say they have absolutely no doubts that the president was born in the U.S., while 29-percent say he “probably” was.

“Not surprisingly, there are big partisan differences, although a majority of Republicans thinks Obama was definitely or probably born here,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Eighty-five percent of Democrats say that Obama was definitely or probably born in the U.S., compared to 68 percent of independents and 57 percent of Republicans. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans say he was probably not born here, and another 14 percent of Republicans say he was definitely not born in the U.S.”

The theory that the president was not born in the U.S. has nagged him since the 2008 presidential campaign. A group of true believers, known as “Birthers,” have pressed the idea that Obama was born in another country – some say in his father’s homeland of Kenya. By their claims, Obama is constitutionally ineligible to serve as president.

And, at this point, no evidence or argument is going to convince them otherwise.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    Yup. This is just another case of, once the charge is out there, some large number will always think it’s true or at least harbor doubts.

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    I don’t really care about this except to point out two things.

    Those who make the claim that no evidence or argument will sway people are using a rhetorical trick to avoid the argument itself.

    If 27% still don’t believe he was born in the US then someone needs to do a better job making the case. 

  3. John P says:

    26.5% of Americans over Obese. The case against obesity is not dying a slow and painful death. That’s a pretty airtight, certain case. People will do/believe what they want to believe regardless of the evidence.

  4. PD Shaw says:

    One could believe that he was not born in the United States, but is still a citizen (or natural born citizen); those are not mutually exlusive propositions.  One could also believe that Obama was not born in the United States and see this as part of an international background that is appealing.  I wish the poll questions more directly addressed the issue CNN wants to discuss.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    “If 27% still don’t believe he was born in the US then someone needs to do a better job making the case.”
    Using that logic, someone needs to do a better job to make an argument against this too…
    http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/13469
    …unless it is perfectly reasonable to believe in the 9/11 Truther stuff based on polls…
     

  6. Herb says:

    Those who make the claim that no evidence or argument will sway people are using a rhetorical trick to avoid the argument itself.
    That might be true in a general sense, but on this particular issue….if you have not been convinced by the evidence or the argument you never will be.

    Besides….who cares who’s “avoiding the argument?” The “argument” has been repeatedly proved false.

    If 27% still don’t believe he was born in the US then someone needs to do a better job making the case.
    See above. The case has been made. The 27% don’t need more convincing. They need to visit the Wizard of Oz before he gives the Scarecrow the last brain.

  7. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    This is, of course, misdirection.  Neat trick.  It is not relevant where Obama was born, as his mother was a citizen.  The problem arrises when the citizenship of his father is known.  He was a subject of the British Crown.  A naturalized citizen goes through a process to become a citizen after having been a citizen of another nation.  A natural citizen is born in the USA or born to a parent who is a citizen.  A NATUAL BORN CITIZEN is born to parents who are both US citizens.  Only one position makes the special requirement for Natural Born Citizen.  The man who holds that office does not meet that requirement.  The term natual born is exclusive from the term natural with regard to citizenship.  The purpose of this requirement was to insure complete fealty to the United States.  One need only read Obama’s book Dreams of my Father to know where his heart lies.

  8. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    To continue, and this is something Doug should look up.  Common law holds birthright follows the father.  Obama has his fathers name and could have chosen his fathers nationality.  A natural born citiizen has not choice as to nationality, hence the term natural born.  This is not a matter of citizenship, it is a matter of how that citizenship was obtained.  Anyone interested go to the Federalist Blog and look up NBC (natural born citizen).  Even Sen. Leahy, when discussing McCain’s citizenship noted McCain was born of two American citizens therefore is a natural born citizen. 

    All this stuff about where Obama was born is misdirection.  It matters not some much where he was born but who he was born to.

  9. Herb says:

    A statement from Hawaii’s director of health: “I … have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen.”

    Case closed, Zels. Let it go…..

  10. Gustopher says:

    Wasn’t 27% also the low point of Bush’s approval rating?

  11. wr says:

    Shorter Zels: Wake up, people! Obama’s father was black!

  12. Juneau: says:

    @ Herb
     
    See above. The case has been made. The 27% don’t need more convincing. They need to visit the Wizard of Oz before he gives the Scarecrow the last brain.

    Yep.  27% of your fellow Americans are dirt stupid or delusional.  And, unfortunately, they breed.  Hey!  Why can’t we just have mandatory sterilization of conserv – … errrr, I mean “delusional” parents?
    Maybe you will deign to  reach down from your lofty perch once in a while and give all them ignoramuses a boon?  You know, maybe an indulgence to save our souls or something.
    You folks make such soft targets..,

  13. Neil Hudelson says:

    Is there any way to give Juneau, Zels-man, and G.A. their own blog?  This stuff is funnier than even the tripe Red State issues.  Whenever I see a title about immigration, Obama’s citizenry, or global warming, I always skip to their comments first in order to have a good laugh.  Centralizing all their musings onto a blog would mean that OTB can remain the place of fairly rational discussion that I love, while I would get a source of “info” more entertaining than The Onion.

  14. Herb says:

    Yep.  27% of your fellow Americans are dirt stupid or delusional.  And, unfortunately, they breed.  Hey!  Why can’t we just have mandatory sterilization of conserv – … errrr, I mean “delusional” parents?

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I said….  Would you consider it elitist if I issued a very Al Gorish sigh right now?

  15. <blockquote>A NATUAL BORN CITIZEN is born to parents who are both US citizens.  Only one position makes the special requirement for Natural Born Citizen.</blockquote>

    Thanks for posting this entry, Mr. Mataconis.  I hadn’t heard much on the issue lately and I’d gotten behind on what the current imaginary laws birthers were making up to prove their case.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    “Yep.  27% of your fellow Americans are dirt stupid or delusional.”

    Well, if they really believe the president wasn’t born in this country, yes, they are, on this issue…thanks for agreeing…see, you can actually show some common sense, sometimes…