Myth of Obama as Muslim and Foreigner Persists in AP Poll

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After four years of a Barack Obama presidency, 18 percent of the public polled by the Associated Press still say the president is Muslim, compared to just 28 percent who correctly identify his religion as Protestant.

The percentage who said Obama was Muslim actually rose one point, from 17 to 18 percent, since the AP asked respondents the same question in 2010. Since 2010, the number who correctly called him Protestant rose from 26 to 28 percent, while the percentage who said they didn’t know his religion dropped from 41 percent in 2010 to 35 percent this year.

Apparently, the cluelessness of the American public knows no bounds.

Though Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney has only been in the national spotlight for a few months, a far higher percentage of poll respondents—67 percent—were able to correctly identify his religion as Mormon, while 26 percent said they didn’t know his religion.

It is a remarkable example of the power and persistent of the right-wing echo chambers and conspiracy theorists, who continue to push the idea that Obama is a Muslim to a large portion of the public that is willing to believe it—regardless of all the evidence to the contrary.

Similarly, 39 percent of poll respondents said that they believe President Obama was born in another country, which is another persistent myth that is pushed by the right-wing in this country.

Asked whether President Obama and Mitt Romney were politically “liberal” or “conservative,” 7 percent of poll respondents said that Obama was extremely or moderately conservative, while 5 percent said Romney was extremely or moderately conservative. Perhaps poll respondents who are so out-of-touch and unaware shouldn’t even be allowed to have an opinion in these national surveys.

The AP poll was aimed at recording the public’s attitudes about race. When asked which group was responsible for creating the racial tension in the U.S. today, 24 percent said blacks were responsible for most of it, compared to 19 percent who said whites were responsible for most of it and 8 percent who said Hispanics were responsible for most of it.

But for the most part, there wasn’t a huge amount of difference in which race the poll respondents were more likely to assign negative characteristics.

Of the 1,071 Americans questioned in the AP/GFK poll conducted early last month, 67 percent were white, 14 percent Hispanic and 12 percent black.

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