It’s a well known fact that older Americans tend more towards birtherism than younger ones. Why is that? Is it the result of deteriorating mental acuity? Perhaps it is something else.
According to a new study reported in the New York Times, political leaning is correlated with birth year. The explanation is that one’s political attitudes are formed most strongly in their 20’s:
[whites born in 1941] … came of age under Eisenhower, who was popular throughout his presidency. By the time Eisenhower left office in 1961, people born in the early 1940s had accumulated pro-Republican sentiment that would last their entire lifetimes. …
In contrast, people born a decade later – baby boomers – were too young to be influenced much by the Eisenhower years. Childhoods and formative years under Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon left them relatively pro-Democratic.
It is also well documented that birthers tend not to be Democrats.