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This diary is crossposted at by blog Mad Wombat

According to a new PPP poll released today, birthers now make up a majority of likely GOP voters in 2012.

According to the poll, 51% say they believe Obama was not born in the United States. Only 28% say they think he was, 21% are unsure. That means nearly 3/4 – 72% – of GOP primary voters either believe Obama was not born in the United States or are unsure about the matter. This is nothing short of collective insanity taking over an entire major political party in this nation.

So let’s look at some birther vs. non-birther (meaning people who believe Obama was born in the US) numbers. Birthers are generally much happier with the slate of candidates than non-birthers are, with birthers giving a higher net favorability to every candidate asked. The “not sure” people usually fell in between the two groups, except for Romney and Paul, who were viewed more favorably by the “not sures” than either pure birthers or non-birthers. Romney is the most consistent of all the candidates, getting a net +26 among non-birthers and +28 among non-birthers, but he also has a lower overall favorability than either Huckabee or Palin. Palin has the most people rating her favorably, at 65%, but Huckabee has the highest net favorability rating, at +43.

Probably not shockingly, the more conservative one is, the less likely you are to think that Obama was born in the US. Those describing themselves as moderates are a net +2 in favor of birtherism, with 46% saying Obama was not born in the United States and 44% saying he was. That moves to a net +14 in favor of birtherism for those who describe themselves as “somewhat conservative” and then +44% for those labeling themselves as “very conservative,” with a full 60% of those people saying they believe Obama was born in the US and only 15% saying he was.

Women are more certain of their opinions about whether Obama was born in the US, with 29% saying he was and 53% saying he wasn’t, with 17% unsure. Among men, 26% say he was, 49% say he wasn’t, and 25% are unsure.

As for the choice of candidates, Huckabee leads with 20%, with Romney in 2nd at 17%, Palin in 3rd at 15%, and Gingrich in 4th at 12%, with “someone else” drawing 18%. However, things get interesting when you break it down into birther and non-birther. Romney wins non-birthers with 19%, while Huckabee finishes 2nd with 17%, with Palin getting 11% and Ron Paul coming in 4th at 10%. Gingrich falls all the way down to 8%, while “someone else” gets a whopping 23%. Meanwhile birthers give Huckabee 24%, Palin 19%, Gingrich 14%, while dropping Romney to 4th with 11%. They also have the lowest “someone else” score of any of the three categories, with only 15% saying so. Romney is running away with the group who is “not sure,” getting 29%, with the next closest candidate being Huckabee with 15%, and Palin coming in 4th with 10%.

Next, lets look at at favorability of candidates based on primary choice. Palin has the most loyal supporters, with 99% of people supporting her giving her a favorable view, though Romney is pretty close with 97% of his supporters approving of him, and 95% of Gingrich supporters approving of him. Huckabee is different. He still has a high number, but only 81% of his supporters have a favorable view of him, with 17% being unsure, meaning that Huckabee might end up being able to draw voters who just don’t like any of the other candidates.

Palin and Huckabee supporters also seem to be similar. Not only are they the two people who get the most support from birthers, but Huckabee gets the highest favorability ratings, besides from his own supporters, from Palin’s supporters, and the same is true of Palin from Huckabee’s supporters, meaning that if one of these two candidates don’t run or drops out, the other may get a lionshare of their former supporters. This is further evidenced by the fact that a plurality of Palin supporters – 36% – say they support Huckabee as a 2nd choice while a plurality of Huckabee supporters – 40% – choose Palin as a 2nd choice. Dangerously for everyone else, however, Huckabee is also the primary 2nd choice of Romney and Gingrich supporters, meaning that Palin, Romney, and Gingrich might do well to try to push him out as soon as they can.

Meanwhile, many of the people who support Romney or Gingrich aren’t sure about Huckabee. Both groups give Huckabee around 55% approval with 30% just not being sure about him. The same can’t be said of Palin where, while she still has a net approval among the supporters of all candidates except Paul’s, she has a 36% disapproval among Gingrich supporters and 33% disapproval among Romney supporters. Those are the biggest disapproval numbers from supporters of any of the big 4 candidates for any of the other big 4 candidates. Meanwhile, Ron Paul’s supporters pretty much hate everyone but Paul, and everyone else’s supporters hate Paul.

One might think that a conservative turnout might help Palin? Well, it might not. Palin still comes in 3rd among those described as both “somewhat” and “very” conservative. She comes in 2nd among those describing themselves as moderate, behind Mitt Romney. Also, open primaries may hurt Huckabee. Among Republicans, Huckabee gets 21%, but among Independents, he finishes in 4th with 14%. Gingrich fares even worse, finishing tied for 3rd at 14% among Republicans but getting an abysmal 3% of independents.

And what about women? Might Palin be helped by conservative women? Maybe, but maybe not. Palin certainly has the highest favorability rating among women among the top 4 candidates, at 62%, but Palin also has the highest unfavorability rating among women, at 31%. Palin actually comes in 3rd out of the 4 in net favorability among women, with Huckabee having a net +45 among women, Romeny having +34, Palin +31, and Gingrich at +26.

Palin actually does much better among men, having the highest net favorability among men out of the four at +49, with Huckabee at +42, Gingrich at +31, and Romney at +27. However, when it comes to choice of candidate, gender makes virtually no difference. 20% of both men and women support Huckabee, 17% of both men and women support Romney, and 15% of both men and women support Palin. Despite his lower net approval among women, Gingrich does slighly better among women, getting 13% vs. 11% of men.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh for pity's sake (9+ / 0-)

    Birtherism gets stronger over time. What can explain this? No major GOP politician actually speaks in favor of it.

    The RWNM is starting to eat itself.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 09:23:57 AM PST

    •  "Birtherism gets stronger..." (6+ / 0-)

      which is why Boehner insists it's not his job to set them straight.  So, who do you think will actually run and who do you think may be the nominee in light of this poll?

      How long can these folks wait to declare and still build a viable organization?  The suspense is killing me!

      •  They are holding off (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        majcmb1, fou, bythesea, cassandracarolina

        because the equivalent dollar value of being a Fox News talking head for [Huckabee Palin Gingrich more] is several million dollars of advertising per month.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 10:06:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Typical short term (0+ / 0-)

          republican thinking:  their "several million dollars of advertising per month" is really more about their own paychecks.l  Sooner (I hope) than later the fact that the message doesn't meet reality is bound to sink them.  Plus, spending their time lining their pockets is to their detriment if they're serious.  Campaigns and ground games take time.

    •  while no major politician (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Colossus, fou, bythesea

      speaks in favor of it, most of them, like Boehner recently, refuse to denounce it either.

      •  True, dat (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But the point I drive at is that the meme continues to spread without anyone (even Limbaugh) explicitly promulgating it.

        It's all wink-wink nudge-nudge by people you can find and refute. The hysteria is sub rosa.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 10:07:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What can explain it? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myboo, fou

      Dunno. But there's a new  blog  out of DC that talks about what's supposed be going on behind the scene of this issue. The new blog started it's first report in November. The most interesting info there however, is the financial corruption and dirty dealings. Don't know if this stuff is true, but I don't mind other perspectives on happenings. I warn you now that this blog is VERY unfriendly to BOTH parties. Just read the previous issues and you'll see what I mean.

    •  There is room in the GOP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for everyone. It's a really big tent, don't you know. They don't want to go saying something that would turn off a segment of Republicans.  Kind of the same way Democrats should not say anything about the evils of Christianity.  We don't want to offend the believers. We need voters.  But every time I hear about "birthers" who will believe anything, even when it is contrary to what they know, I always think religion.

  •  There is no space left in the new GOP (4+ / 0-)

    for the clinically sane.

    If your Boehner persists for more than 20 months, vote Dem in 2012.

    by asm121 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 09:58:36 AM PST

  •  This just may be the (6+ / 0-)

    down fall of the party.
    Michael Medved has an interesting article up at WSJ
    about the error of the conservatives declaring Obama "evil"

    Someone should diary this.

    What if the hokey pokey is what it's all about?

    by Julie Gulden on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 09:58:50 AM PST

    •  Heh, Julie (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Julie Gulden, fou, bythesea

      I vote that you diary this:  I think you'd do it justice and guarantee more eyeballs.

      •  Ha! (0+ / 0-)

        My eyes are crossed from trying to tend comments on my Thomas diary.   With no auto refresh this is waaaay too much work!

        P.S.  My husband is starting to feel a little ignored:)

        What if the hokey pokey is what it's all about?

        by Julie Gulden on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:49:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Which is why (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Julie Gulden

      I am reluctantly okay with Obama's approach despite strongly disagreeing with some of his concessions.  The more he handles his job with reason and level headedness the more the Know Nothing/American Protective Association/John Birch Society/Tea Party or whatever version of the Republican Party will turn reasonable well grounded Republicans (NO! It is not an oxymoron!) will be turned off.  I hope.

      "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

      by newfie on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 10:43:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A large and influential segment... (6+ / 0-)

    ...of  the US  electorate  is completely clueless and even delusional.

    I believe a sort of subconscious racism is the cause.

    We are dealing with a loony relative  that needs intervention.  But what form of intervention?; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 09:59:31 AM PST

    •  It's the same sort of insanity... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chrississippi, Shockwave, newfie, fou

      ...  that overcame the nation after the 9/11 attacks, and it's  infecting Americans by many of the same vectors.

      Moreover, birtherism is really cover for tribalism (aka "partisanship")  taken to the extreme.  When your insanity is driven by blind tribal hatred, you can do the most evil things.

      "We are at our best when we move together, and we are at our worst when we move together. When our leader was killed by your people, we went mad together. We stayed mad for a very long time, a madness that almost consumed your world, until finally, before it was too late, we woke up together. But you, you are alone, you have no one to awaken you from your madness. For this, and nothing else, I feel pity for you."

      You know what hope is? Hope is a bastard. Hope is a liar a cheat and tease. Hope comes near you, kick it's backside. It's got no place in days like these.

      by tbetz on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 10:24:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure the reaction to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, tbetz

        9/11 attacks are that closely related - maybe 2nd or 3rd cousin once removed or something.  At least then people had a real event around which they were thinking irrationally.  

        It was a lonely world then - I could hardly find someone who didn't rant at me or call me a pacifistic coward or claim I was what was wrong with America all the while talking trash about how the military should do this or do that while these folks had absolutely NO skin in the game and never did.  I was even told that my opinion about military matters did not count because I served in a peacetime Navy.  And how that compared to there zero military service and their zero family history of military service I'll never figure out.

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 10:47:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The nation's reaction to 9/11 -- invading Iraq ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ... was almost completely an act of misguided tribalism.  The majority was able to be conned into illegally invading a country that never attacked us and did not threaten us because the populace of that country kinda looked like and sounded like the people who did attack us.  Birtherism is likewise an act of misguided tribalism.

          You know what hope is? Hope is a bastard. Hope is a liar a cheat and tease. Hope comes near you, kick it's backside. It's got no place in days like these.

          by tbetz on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 11:51:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see your point. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            My point was at least there was a trigger for 9/11 actions that had some logic despite how far it ended up roaming. I was told (numerous times then) that we should support the invasion because the President et all HAD to know something we didn't that justified it.  It was very hard to shake people of their trust that a President wouldn't do something like this - yep these are not folks steeped in US history and it would take a long time to educate them.  So there are some common roots  as you point out - but with the birthers there is no real logic trigger except the election of a man.  

            I don't know any birthers.  But I know scads of people who at least minimally supported the actions after 9/11.  These folks will now acknowledge (most of them anyway) that they were wrong and that they based their support on trust in the President because they've now been faced with plenty of evidence.  Birthers?  Not so much.  When your belief is not grounded in some form of logical process no amount of evidence will easily shake it

            "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

            by newfie on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 12:06:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tribalism is never grounded in any logical process (0+ / 0-)

              That's one of its worst aspects.

              You know what hope is? Hope is a bastard. Hope is a liar a cheat and tease. Hope comes near you, kick it's backside. It's got no place in days like these.

              by tbetz on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 12:13:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Fox and talk radio. (6+ / 0-)

    They push this crap 24/7 to their moronic audiences, and it's working.

    A recent study shows that Fox News viewers are more likely to believe all sorts of things that are factually, undeniably wrong.

    Propaganda works.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 10:01:18 AM PST

  •  Birther bullshit is a loser for the gop. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1, fou, A Voice

    Moderates may have attention span barely long enough to underestand and accept Obama's birth certificate explanation. Its really easy to understand the explanation. You have to work hard at not understanding to question it.

    Obama was born in HI.
    HI issues short form bc's
    HI, like many other states, moved to electronic bc's
    Original bc 's were destroyed in favor of scanned versions

    Folks behind the birther nonsense KNOW their position is utter crap. The strategy is to, in every instance available, delegitimize Mr Obama. Make him into "something else" and "not one of us". Its working. Im not so sure the WH even cares bc we can win this battle easily. gop, bring it!

    No home. No job. No peace. No rest.

    by A Runner on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 10:06:11 AM PST

    •  Not true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Original bc 's were destroyed in favor of scanned versions
      “There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate.  State law (Hawaii Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.

      “Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

      “No state official, including Governor Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawaii.”

      -- Hawaii State Health Director, Chiyome Fukino

      If you have a link establishing that the State of Hawaii destroyed the original birth certificates when they went electronic, provide it. Otherwise, don't present things as facts that you do not know to be so.

  •  It's Pervasive Among Racists Who Can Not (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo, fou, cassandracarolina

    see past their stereotypes of American blacks
    For them there is no way an American black man can be more intelligent than them; not have  criminal record; and have a stable family life.  Facts be damned!  Just no their racist minds.

  •  RE: The question really being asked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Do you like using the n-word when you discuss Obama with close friends and family?

    I think it's exactly that.

    Republicans are not that stupid - they are, however, that comfy being racist.

    (And before anyone starts, this is a quantifiable argument not a qualitative one so dispense with the "Dems are too" line. It's weak and got no flavor.)

  •  For the life of me, I can't grasp this (0+ / 0-)

    People REALLY believe that this was some giant conspiracy/cover-up and the President of the USA is a fake.

    Even a Hollywood movie wouldn't have a story like that--it's too unbelievable. And yet...they believe it.

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