Only 45 Percent of Arkansans Say Obama Was Born in America

Created: August 25, 2009 13:00 | Last updated: July 31, 2020 00:00

Public Policy Polling dips into Arkansas, one of the few states where Barack Obama won fewer votes for president than John Kerry, and finds that only 45 percent of Arkansans are confident of the president’s citizenship. Thirty-one percent of them say he was born outside of the country; the rest aren’t sure.

As has been the case in other states, “birtherism” in Arkansas is largely a problem for white voters and conservative Republicans. Whites only believe that Obama was born in America by a seven-point margin, 41-34, while African-Americans believe it by a 57-point margin, 68-11. Fewer than one-quarter of Republicans are sure that Obama was born in America; 49 percent say he wasn’t. The numbers are actually lower among “conservatives,” 43 percent of whom say Obama wasn’t born in America. That’s understandable in Arkansas, one of the deep South states where most voters still belong to the Democratic Party while often splitting their ballot for federal offices.