Poll: Republicans say Obama’s hiding something
More than a third of Americans — and 64 percent of Republicans — believe that President Barack Obama might be hiding something, according to a new poll Thursday.
Thirty-six percent of the surveyed voters think the president is possibly “hiding important information about his background and early life,” the Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind survey found.
“This conspiracy theory is much more widely believed mostly because it’s been discussed so often,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson. “People tend to believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire — so the more smoke they see, the more likely they are to believe that something is going on.”
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The most common — and debunked — conspiracy theory about Obama is that he wasn’t born in the U.S. and therefore isn’t eligible to be president.
The poll also found that 63 percent of registered voters believe at least one political conspiracy theory. Other popular conspiracy theories include the notion that the government knew about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks before they occurred (25 percent believe this to be true) and the belief that Obama committed voter fraud in the 2012 election (19 percent buy that argument).
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Higher levels of education and awareness of current events, however, are linked to a reduction in belief in such theories, the study reported.
Democrats and independents with more political knowledge were found to be more likely to dismiss conspiracy theories, while Republicans with more political knowledge were more likely to believe the theories.
The poll was conducted with 814 registered American voters from Dec. 10-16, 2012 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points for the full sample.