Maybe Barack Obama's title should be changed to "president of the United States of Crazy." More than 1 in 4 Americans think it likely that the president was born in another country, according to a new poll.
According to the CNN/Opinion Research survey, 11 percent of Americans think the president was "definitely born in another country," while another 16 percent think he "probably" was. More than a quarter of the country thinks the president is a foreigner and illegitimate. Wow. (The good news: 71 percent of Americans believe that he "definitely" or "probably" was born in this country.)
Will it surprise you to learn that this belief is strongest among Republicans? Forty-one percent of GOP-ers buy the birther twaddle (that's 14 percent "definitely" born abroad and another 27 percent "probably"). I guess we can be happy that 57 percent of GOP-ers still reside in the land of the sane. (That breaks out to 23 percent "definitely" believe he's American and another 34 percent think he "probably" was born here.)
I wish that CNN had asked this question before so that we could find out whether these numbers are moving in one direction or another.
We do have one other data set, though it comes with a fairly heavy caveat. About a year ago Research 2000 conducted a poll for Daily Kos which asked the birther question, among other things. On one hand, a majority of GOP-ers in that poll either believed Obama was born abroad (28 percent) or just plum didn't know (30 percent). Progress? Maybe. But the overall birther figure in that poll was 11 percent, with another 12 percent unsure. Of course here's the caveat: Daily Kos chief Markos Moulitsas sued the polling firm about a month ago for cooking its numbers. So ... maybe it's not so reliable.
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Corrected on 8/5/10: An earlier version of this blog post misstated the percentage of Republicans who believe that President Obama was "probably" born in another country. The correct figure is 27 percent.