A new poll from the Pew Research Center finds that 28 percent of Americans believe that there’s been “too little” coverage of “allegations that President Obama was not born in the United States” — including a plurality, 39 percent, of self-identified Republicans. Only 14 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of independents share that view.
“If anything surprised me, it’s how many people have heard about this,” said Michael Dimock, an associate director at the Pew Research Center. “When we put the question in, we said to ourselves, well, Lou Dobbs has covered it, and it’s been discussed on the Internet. For 80 percent of people to have heard something about this is pretty high.”
Dimock told TWI that the survey’s sample was not large enough to find statistically significant breakdowns from one region of the country to the other, or to break the poll down between whites, blacks, and other minorities. The high number of Republicans who want “coverage,” said Dimock, does not necessarily mean that they’re all “birthers.” Instead, the number could be viewed as a screen for the persistent doubts of Obama’s political skeptics.
“It goes back to what we tracked last year, when we consistently found that 10 or 11 percent of Americans believed that he was Muslim,” said Dimock. “There is a core group of Americans who have never been comfortable with Barack Obama. A story like this sort of resonates with these folks. Oh! Maybe he isn’t one of us!”