Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Breaking down the 'deathers'

With the birther ranks declining after Barack Obama released his birth certificate it seemed like there was some potential 'deathers' - folks who think Osama bin Laden wasn't really killed last week- would become the next great American conspiracy theory. Alas that is not the case. Our national survey over the weekend found that 85% of voters really do think that bin Laden is dead with 8% unsure and only 7% convinced that he is still alive.

To put that into perspective on the conspiracy theory spectrum, a national survey we conducted in September of 2009 found that 10% of Americans thought (or at least said they they thought) that Barack Obama was the Anti-Christ to only 79% who could rule out the possibility. 11% on that survey said they weren't sure. So we've got more voters who think the President is the Anti-Christ than think Osama bin Laden is still alive.

Who are these few folks falling into the 'deather' camp? They're actually more eclectic than you might expect. 36% of them report having voted for John McCain in 2008 to 35% who say they voted for Obama. So they're not nearly as monolithically Republican as their birther cohorts. In fact the plurality of them, at 41% are independents, to 37% who are Republicans and 22% who are Democrats. There is unsurprisingly quite a bit of overlap between the deathers and the birthers- 47% of the folks who think bin Laden is still alive also don't believe Obama was born in the United States. And although only 34% of Americans overall think the bin Laden death photos should be released, 70% of the folks within this camp do.

When I started polling on birtherism 21 months ago I never imagined I would still be doing it today. But this is probably the first and last measure we'll take of the deathers- it's just not catching on.


Anonymous said...

How many people think 9/11 was an inside job? Have you ever polled that before?

Statistikhengst said...

Call it "The Death of the Deathers"

I Am Iron Man said...

At least some small measure of sanity is left in the United States.

"Deatherism" is the dumbest conspiracy theory in a long long time and that's really saying something.

The Interesting Times said...

I would have liked to see a poll showing how many people who believe bin Laden was killed in some fashion similar to that described by the Obama administration, who still think the photos of bin Laden's corpse should be released anyway.

The Interesting Times said...

Never mind...just saw your Twitter post on that.

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