The Emerging Republican (Birther) Majority

by Jonathan Chait | February 15, 2011

Very interesting new PPP poll of likely GOP primary voters. First, birthers comprise an outright majority of the likely primary electorate:

Birthers make a majority among those voters who say they're likely to participate in a Republican primary next year. 51% say they don't think Barack Obama was born in the United States to just 28% who firmly believe that he was and 21% who are unsure. The GOP birther majority is a new development. The last time PPP tested this question nationally, in August of 2009, only 44% of Republicans said they thought Obama was born outside the country while 36% said that he definitely was born in the United States. If anything birtherism is on the rise. 

No wonder the Republican leadership tiptoes so carefully around this issue.

What's more, the birthers really hate Mitt Romney:

among the 49% of GOP primary voters who either think Obama was born in the United States or aren't sure, Romney's the first choice to be the 2012 nominee by a good amount, getting 23% to 16% for Mike Huckabee, 11% for Sarah Palin, and 10% for Newt Gingrich. But with the birther majority he's in a distant fourth place at 11%, with Mike Huckabee at 24%, Sarah Palin at 19%, and Newt Gingrich at 14% all ahead of him. That pushes him into a second place finish overall at 17% with Mike Huckabee again leading the way this month at 20%. Palin's third with 15%, followed by Gingrich at 12%, Ron Paul at 8%, Mitch Daniels and Tim Pawlenty at 4%, and John Thune at 1%.

I think they can smell the inauthenticity of his attempts to appear like an unhinged right-wing lunatic.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/83531/the-emerging-republican-birther-majority