Even after the release of his birth certificate, more Republicans than ever believe President Obama is foreign-born.
For most people, the “birther” conspiracy—centered on the belief that Barack Obama wasn’t a natural-born American citizen—ended when the president released his long-form birth certificate to the public last April. Birther claims were always bogus, but the release of the birth certificate was supposed to nail the coffin shut.
For a while, it did.
According to YouGov’s Adam Berinsky, the proportion of Americans who said that Obama was born in the United States rose from 55 percent before April 2011 to 67 percent afterward. Likewise, for Republicans—the group most likely to believe the conspiracy—the number who said Obama was born a citizen increased from 30 percent to 47 percent. Still low, but a real improvement.
Recently, Berinsky polled the question again, focusing on Republicans to see if their attitudes have changed in the ten months since the president released his birth certificate. Far from getting better, Republicans have actually doubled-down on the belief that Obama is foreign born:
Berinksy points to the durability of rumors in the face of lasting information as the culprit. As he writes, “Rumors tend to be sticky and merely repeating a rumor—even in the context of debunking that mistruth—increases its power.” Likewise, political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler have found that corrections often fail to reduce misperceptions among the target ideological group and that corrections can even backfire and strengthen false beliefs.
In addition to both factors, I wouldn’t be surprised if election-year rhetoric plays into it as well. Up until recently, the GOP hopefuls have struggled to distinguish themselves, and some candidates—like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich—have centered their attacks on the assumed “foreignness” of President Obama. The slogan “Believe in America,” for example, doesn’t actually make sense unless you assume that the president isn’t American enough to lead the country. And claims that Obama is a “Saul Alinsky radical” who “apologizes for America” and wants to adopt “European socialism” are nods to the myth that Obama is foreign-born (and thus, untrustworthy).
As the election heats up, and this rhetoric becomes more intense, I wouldn’t be surprised if the proportion of Republican birthers increases from its current high.
Share This Blog
- “The Unrelenting Hostility Of Washington’s Courtier Press”: The Media’s Crusade Of Scandals Against Hillary Clinton July 28, 2016
- “Endorsing This Philistine”: The Christian Right Has Surrendered To Trump July 24, 2016
- “Cop Killers Serve No Cause”: It’s Getting To The Point Where No Lives Matter July 24, 2016
- Religion, Patriotism And Freedom: Ayn Rand Vs. America
- "Deregulation And Worker's Bargaining Power": New Insight Into The Decline Of The Middle Class
- "Say It Ain't Ted, Wisconsin": The Badger State Should Know Better Than To Go For The Texas Senator
- "Why Trump Won't Win": The Demographics Do Not Look Good For Him In A General Election Campaign
- "Platitudes And Rhetorical Nonsense": How Trump Has Managed To Dumb Down The Immigration Debate
- "Arguments Both Indefensible And Dishonest": Senate Republicans Debunk Their Own Supreme Court Talking Points
Affordable Care Act African Americans Bain Capital Citizens United Congress Conservatives Contraception Corporations Debt Ceiling Democracy Democrats Donald Trump Economic inequality Economy Foreign Policy Fox News George W. Bush GOP GOP Presidential Candidates Government Shutdown Gun Control Gun Violence Health Exchanges Health Insurance Hillary Clinton House Republicans Immigration Immigration Reform Iraq War ISIS Jeb Bush Jobs John Boehner John McCain Koch Brothers Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio media Medicaid Medicare Middle Class Middle East Minorities Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney National Security Newt Gingrich NRA ObamaCare Paul Ryan Politics Poor and Low Income Poverty Progressives Racism Rand Paul Republicans Rick Santorum Right Wing Ronald Reagan Rush Limbaugh Scott Walker SCOTUS Senate Spending Cuts Tax cuts Taxes Tea-party Teaparty Ted Cruz Terrorism uninsured Voter Suppression Wall Street Wealthy
August 2016 M T W T F S S « Jul 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
- Maine Gov. LePage says he might not finish second term nbcnews.to/2bPrcPG @nbcnews; His first priority should be voluntary commitment----------- 23 hours ago
- Meet New England’s George Wallace: Paul LePage bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/08/… via @BostonGlobe #MEpolitics #lunatics----------- 1 day ago
- Charles Osgood to Leave CBS Show ‘Sunday Morning’ After 22 Years nyti.ms/2bRHCaA----------- 2 days ago
- RT @DebErupts: Damn straight we will! Be afraid, be very afraid! #VoteBlue twitter.com/mitchellvii/st…----------- 3 days ago
- Obama to campaign for Clinton on September 13 in PA @CNNPolitics cnn.it/2bm6XeJ----------- 3 days ago
- 254,351 hits
Blog at WordPress.com.