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YouGov polling on the birthers

This is interesting. I signed up as a member of YouGov about a month ago. You can express opinions on people and books and other things. They send you questionnaires from time to time. You can earn points for valuable prizes 😉 I’ve never been asked about it (darn) but they do track birtherism, and published an article, The Birthers Aren’t Going Anywhere (An Update), yesterday. Looking at changes over the past year, Adam Berinsky writes:

These polls demonstrate the hint of some movement toward the belief that Obama was born in the United States. However the percentage of people who think that Obama was not born in the United States has held steady throughout the year, and perhaps even increased slightly.

While significantly lower today than immediately after Obama’s release of his long form birth certificate, Republicans who say Obama was not born in the US are at a high for the year at 39%.

I read these polls and they are pretty consistent, showing lots of folks say Barack Obama was born abroad. But I have a hard time reconciling that with what those who hold that view actually do, i.e. nothing. Every time the birther celebrities hold an “event” a couple dozen people show up, or they cancel the event due to lack of people signing up. I keep wondering why there is such a tremendous gap between the number of people who say they believe something, and the number willing to put feet to their beliefs.

Given all the outrageous things people say about Obama (he’s a Muslim terrorist trying to destroy the country, homosexual coke addict communist murderer with a mother who’s a whore), I wonder if a significant number of respondents who say Obama was born overseas are just taking the opportunity to spit on him, rather than saying what they believe is true.

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34 Responses to YouGov polling on the birthers

  1. avatar
    donna October 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    34% of republicans are “not sure” down from 45% before he released his BC

    BUT

    and INCREASE of 14% of those saying he was not born in the us – 25% before he released his BC and 39% now?

    so what changed? trump? arpaio?

    it’s CERTAINLY NOT any wins with the ballot challenges and lawsuits

    i would like to ask a follow-up question prefacing it with some facts:

    “not ONE COURT has found obama ineligible – in fact, several have held that he is a ‘natural born citizen’ – hawaii recently released 2 verifications of birth to AZ & KS which would serve as prima facie evidence in any court”

    in light of those facts, do you still believe obama was not born in the us?

  2. avatar
    Paper October 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    That would be my guess–that they are spitting. In my family, there are the hardcore birthers, some doing all kinds of “things.” But a whole segment of them are indifferent to that point except in passing, as in: could be, wouldn’t surprise me, etc. But invariably when pushed, this subgroup at least has enough self-and-social-awareness, to demur and move on to other slurs or demonstrations of contempt. For them, birtherism is more idle, going along with the rest of the family. When challenged, they’l let birtherism go, but hold on to other various derogatory opinions.

  3. avatar
    Paul October 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    “…I wonder if a significant number of respondents who say Obama was born overseas are just taking the opportunity to spit on him, rather than saying what they believe is true..”

    Yup.

  4. avatar
    john October 2, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    One thing that may be holding the numbers high is the recent discovery of the phamphlet by Obama’s publist stating he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. This is truly compelling evidence and publist’s explanation is simply nonsense.

  5. avatar
    john October 3, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    In fact, this discovery continues to keep Trump interested in the subject:

    From Trump’s Twitter:

    In debate, @MittRomney should ask Obama why autobiography states “born in Kenya, raised in Indonesia.”

  6. avatar
    john October 3, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    Even AZ SOS Ken Bennett was quite curious at the discovery not withstanding the verification he got from Hawaii which apparently satisfied his question. Bennett’s explanation is that Obama must “fibbed” to his publisist that he was born in Kenya.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 3, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    It is certainly the darling evidence of the birthers of late, but it is piss poor a evidence, since the publicist says she didn’t get the erroneous information from Obama, and we know Obama was telling other folks at the same time that he was born in Hawaii.

    You may think that Obama must have approved that bio before it was published, but you don’t know that.

    john: One thing that may be holding the numbers high is the recent discovery of the phamphlet (sic) by Obama’s publist (sic) stating he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. This is truly compelling evidence and publist’s (sic) explanation is simply nonsense.

  8. avatar
    john October 3, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    “You may think that Obama must have approved that bio before it was published, but you don’t know that.”

    It pretty much common sense the when bio of an individual is printed, it is verified by the person whom the bio is about. The publicist is most likely lying to protect Obama.

  9. avatar
    JPotter October 3, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: You may think that Obama must have approved that bio before it was published, but you don’t know that.

    Not only that, but (as the meme goes) continued to consciously approve of it for the next 16 or 17 years (yet never planting any other similar biographies over the same period?) until rewriting his life story just in time for his Presidential run.

    And “of late” … has been a favorite for several months … riding the slow, downhill slope of the Birfer Meme Sine Wave of Prominence.

  10. avatar
    John Reilly October 3, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    So there is a hearing on the merits somewhere. Dr. Taitz finally figures out how to subpoena a witness. She can’t offer the pamphlet into evidence without a witness, so she calls the publicist. The publicist testifies that the pamplet is genuine. So it is admitted into evidence. Of course, the statements in the pamphlet are hearsay, so she is asked, “did Barack Obama tell you he was born in Kenya?” She answers, “No, Dr. Taitz, he did not.” “Did anyone else?” “No, Dr. Taitz. I have no idea how I came to write that.”

    And that is the end of John’s “compelling” evidence.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 3, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    For a normal bio, I might agree, but this was for a book that was never written. It does seem Odd that Obama wasn’t asked to review the bio, but the person who knows says no, and not everything always happens in the usual way. Compared to other solid evidence, this supposition is pretty small.

    john: It pretty much common sense the when bio of an individual is printed, it is verified by the person whom the bio is about. The publicist is most likely lying to protect Obama.

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 3, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    Dreams was published in 1995.

    JPotter: Not only that, but (as the meme goes) continued to consciously approve of it for the next 16 or 17 years (yet never planting any other similar biographies over the same period?) until rewriting his life story just in time for his Presidential run.

  13. avatar
    john October 3, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    When you add in all of the other mountain of evidence, the case that Obama was born in Kenya in quite compelling, at least enough for discovery. If Obama hasn’t spent 2 million then, he certainly has now to prevent discovery into the matter. It also raises the question of just what exactly Hawaii has in their vault. The Hawaii verifications don’t help,
    Alvin Onaka refused to verify that the WH LFBC was a “True and Accurate” representation of what they have in their files (This exactly what AZ SOS Kenn Bennett asked.)
    Alvin Onaka refused to verify that WH LFBC is “Identical” to what they have in their files. (The question Kansas asked.)

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 3, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    John, there is a difference between a mountain and a landfill.

    john: When you add in all of the other mountain of evidence, the case that Obama was born in Kenya in quite compelling,

  15. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater October 3, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    john: When you add in all of the other mountain of evidence, the case that Obama was born in Kenya in quite compelling, at least enough for discovery. If Obama hasn’t spent 2 million then, he certainly has now to prevent discovery into the matter. It also raises the question of just what exactly Hawaii has in their vault. The Hawaii verifications don’t help,Alvin Onaka refused to verify that the WH LFBC was a “True and Accurate” representation of what they have in their files (This exactly what AZ SOS Kenn Bennett asked.)Alvin Onaka refused to verify that WH LFBC is “Identical” to what they have in their files. (The question Kansas asked.)

    A pile of crap is still a pile of crap John no matter how high you stack it. It doesn’t suddenly become a pile of rubies and diamonds. There is no evidence supporting a birth in kenya. There’s no proof he’s actually personally spent any money. If Obama supposedly spent two million then the birthers who are bringing these cases obviously spent 50 million wasting court resources. Onaka did verify that it was true and accurate. He said it matched exactly what they had in their files. Yes Onaka did verify that.

  16. avatar
    John Potter October 3, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Dreams was published in 1995.

    I thought the brfer story was that the erroneous bio was prepared for a project prior to dreams, a project that went unpublished. The bio only appearred on a pamphlet. Which is why the bio never appearred anywhere on his later, published books. The continued physical existence of the pamphlets is taken as proof that Obama continually, consciously approved of the erroneous bio.

  17. avatar
    Thomas Brown October 3, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    John, there is a difference between a mountain and a landfill.

    Well put, Doc. And when you add new material, it’s still a pile of garbage, not a mountain.

  18. avatar
    foreigner October 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    do they have the numbers for Dems only ?

  19. avatar
    John Potter October 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    John Potter: I thought the brfer story was that the erroneous bio was prepared for a project prior to dreams, a project that went unpublished. The bio only appearred on a pamphlet. Which is why the bio never appearred anywhere on his later, published books. The continued physical existence of the pamphlets is taken as proof that Obama continually, consciously approved of the erroneous bio.

    … and I was going to say alll this makes it one of the dumbest birfer memes ever, but then realized the foolishness of trying to discern differences of degree amongst infinites.

  20. avatar
    sfjeff October 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    I suspect that John also thinks there is a mountain of evidence that Bigfoot exists and the government is hiding aliens at Area 51.

  21. avatar
    foreigner October 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    with so big differences between Dems and Reps in the poll, you have to wonder.
    Does Obama’s place of birth in 1961 have something to do with nowadays
    politics ? Obviously people are not saying what they really think

  22. avatar
    John Potter October 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    foreigner: Obviously people are not saying what they really think

    I think your horse isn’t going to push that cart.

  23. avatar
    Arthur October 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    foreigner: Obviously people are not saying what they really think

    They are in this video:

    http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/wingnuts-hurl-racist-comments-cardboa

  24. avatar
    John Potter October 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    foreigner: with so big differences between Dems and Reps in the poll, you have to wonder.
    Does Obama’s place of birth in 1961 have something to do with nowadays

    Yes, stunning that Blues are Blues and Reds are Reds, that they identify with the respective positions of such, and support the respective candidates of such. And further, that they believe the worst of the other color’s candidates, and refute aspersions cast upon their own.

    Yes, much cause for wonder there.

    I am sure everyone’s birthplace will be the top item in the debate tonight. After all, it is a domestic policy debate.

    Ahem.

  25. avatar
    Keith October 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    John, there is a difference between a mountain and a landfill.

    Not to an ant.

  26. avatar
    John Potter October 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Keith: Not to an ant.

    Ants can smell 😛

    Dat birfer poo ain’ no brisk mountain spring.

  27. avatar
    G October 4, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    Agreed.

    Paul:
    …I wonder if a significant number of respondents who say Obama was born overseas are just taking the opportunity to spit on him, rather than saying what they believe is true..”

    Yup.

  28. avatar
    The Magic M October 4, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    john: Alvin Onaka refused to verify that WH LFBC is “Identical” to what they have in their files.

    If he had said it was “identical”, birthers would have claimed “Onaka just admitted Hawaii only has a (forged) PDF in their files”. *facepalm*

    But in the real world, you don’t get to play Catch-22.

  29. avatar
    J.D. Reed October 4, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    John Potter: Yes, stunning that Blues are Blues and Reds are Reds, that they identify with the respective positions of such, and support the respective candidates of such. And further, that they believe the worst of the other color’s candidates, and refute aspersions cast upon their own.Yes, much cause for wonder there.I am sure everyone’s birthplace will be the top item in the debate tonight. After all, it is a domestic policy debate.Ahem.</blockquote

    superb insight, well stated!

  30. avatar
    foreigner October 4, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    reminds me to my polls in the forums. People are often so sure, so certain about
    their position, even when knowing that others, smarter ones,
    are equally certain about the opposite.
    That’s usually not reasonable, unless you have evidence that you have
    additional information that the others didn’t consider

  31. avatar
    foreigner October 4, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    seems that Dem. birthers have ~tripled since July.
    Yougov is hiding this.

  32. avatar
    John Potter October 4, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    foreigner: That’s usually not reasonable, unless you have evidence that you have
    additional information that the others didn’t consider

    A key component of conspiracy addiction. Go, foreigner, go!

    foreigner: seems that Dem. birthers have ~tripled since July.
    Yougov is hiding this.

    Speaking of conspiratorial thinking …. !

    Why only triple, F? Any factor multiplied by nothing is … nothing. Why not go for the more poetic (and equally true) “increased one hundredfold”?

  33. avatar
    The Magic M October 5, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    foreigner: seems that Dem. birthers have ~tripled since July

    I still consider that poll meaningless without additional information. As I stated multiple times, and you as a fellow German will agree, I have no idea where Angela Merkel was born, but that doesn’t mean I think she was born in Kenya. Therefore when asked, I would be one of the “don’t know” crowd and you would label me a birther because I didn’t say “in Germany”.

  34. avatar
    Rickey October 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    The Magic M: I still consider that poll meaningless without additional information. As I stated multiple times, and you as a fellow German will agree, I have no idea where Angela Merkel was born, but that doesn’t mean I think she was born in Kenya. Therefore when asked, I would be one of the “don’t know” crowd and you would label me a birther because I didn’t say “in Germany”.

    I consider myself to be well-informed, but off the top of my head I would have to answer “I don’t know” if I were asked where the following Presidents and Presidential candidates were born. I could look them up, of course, and I know what states they are associated with, but were they born there?

    John Kerry (Massachusetts?)
    Bob Dole (Kansas?)
    George H.W. Bush (Connecticut?)
    Michael Dukakis (Massachusetts?)
    Walter Mondale (Minnesota?)
    Jimmy Carter (Georgia?)
    Gerald Ford (Michigan?)
    George McGovern (South Dakota?)