OK

A whopping 64 percent of Republicans think it’s “probably true” that President Obama is hiding important information about his background and early life, including his possible birthplace, according to a new nationwide survey of registered voters from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind project examining Americans’ belief in political conspiracy theories.
Salon

But they asked about 4 CT, and found that Democrats fall for them, too ... but let's look at that more closely, shall we?

The 4 CT about which Fairleigh Dickinson inquired were:

  1. Obama's birth
  2. Government knew about 9/11 in advance
  3. Obama stole the 2012 election
  4. Bush stole the 2004 via vote rigging

They find that 75% of Republicans say at least one of these 4 is "likely true". 56% of Democrats say that one of the four is "likely true", with a surprising 59% of young African-Americans coming down on the side of 9/11 truthers.

Here, though, is the significant result.

Moreover, researchers noted: “Generally, the more people know about current events, the less likely they are to believe in conspiracy theories — but not among Republicans, where more knowledge leads to greater belief in political conspiracies.”

“There are several possible explanations for this,” said Fairleigh Dickinson political scientist Dan Cassino, who helped conduct the poll. “It could be that more conspiracy-minded Republicans seek out more information, or that the information some Republicans seek out just tends to reinforce these myths.”

Or it could be that Republicans have an entire system set up to tell people "It would be irresponsible NOT to ask". Fox, Limbaugh, Beck, Drudge, Savage, and so on. Epistemological closure is the name given to the phenomenon where people only trust information provided by like-minded people, and thus false concepts can go completely unchallenged for years. And here we see the result of closing yourself off from being forced to think.

Please do not use the comments thread as a forum for discussing the merits of these theories

Full results here.

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