Only 9 Percent of Utah Doubts Obama’s Citizenship
Some good news on the “birther” front: a Deseret News/KSL-TV poll finds that only 9 percent of Utahns (13 percent of Republicans) “don’t believe the president was born in the United States.” The biggest population of Obama doubters in the Beehive state? Conservatives, 18 percent of whom believe Obama was born outside the United States, having not been informed by James Kirchick that this whole conspiracy theory is being pushed by liberals.
So why does rock-solid Republican Utah have fewer “birthers” than, the deep South, or even fewer than blue Virginia and North Carolina? A lack of racial polarization has something to do with it. Utah, like the rest of the great plains and western states, got bluer in 2008 despite overall McCain victories and despite having a very, very white population. In Utah, Obama got 327,670 votes in 2008, up from the 241,199 votes that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) got in 2004. For the first time since 1964, the Democratic candidate for president actually carried Salt Lake County. This happened with 31 percent of Utah whites backing Obama. Not even close to a winning margin; but in Louisiana, for example, Obama only won 14 percent of the white vote.