Is extremism becoming mainstream in 21st century American politics?
Our latest national poll would seem to say yes- 35% voters in the country either think that Barack Obama was not born in the United States or that George W. Bush intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur so that we could go to war in the Middle East. A very troubled 2% of the population buys into both of those conspiracy theories.
It's hard to call a third of the country a fringe.
Only 59% of Americans say confidently that they think Barack Obama was born in the country while 23% think he was not, and 18% are unsure. Among Republicans there are more voters- 42%- who think he was born somewhere else than there are- 37%- who will say for sure that he was born here.
The far out sentiments aren't limited to the right though. 14% of Americans, including 25% of Democrats, think that George W. Bush let 9/11 happen to justify war, and 8% aren't sure.
When more than a third of the population either thinks that the current President doesn't legitimately hold the office or that a former President was attacking the country from within for political gain it shows a pretty remarkable lack of trust in our leaders.
We also took a look at the Anti-Christ question nationally and found that a pretty similar number of voters are willing to go so far as to hang that label on either Obama or Bush. 10% of voters say they think Obama is the Anti-Christ with 11% unsure and 8% say the same of Bush with an equal 11% unsure. Some opponents of Obama have pointed to biblical 'proof' to show that Obama is the Anti-Christ but the relatively equivalent number of Americans saying the same of Bush would seem to be an indication folks' saying that is more a way to express that they really don't like a politician than it is rooted in theology.
It's still remarkable that 16% of Americans will go so far as to declare one of the last two Presidents the 'Anti-Christ' with another 19% unsure about whether that label should apply to one or the other or both.
Strange times in American politics. Forget bipartisanship, it would be an accomplishment if we could just get to the point where excess partisans didn't think the opposite party's President was the Anti-Christ!
Full results here
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