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Birther boomerang

I consider this a very important article because without this article and the information following, the “Mailbox 11/7/2014” article would just stay at the top of the blog and I don’t think anybody wants that. I would really rather flip the page to something else.

The boomerang is the birther theory of the meaning of “natural born citizen,” a theory consistently rejected by legal scholars and the courts. The idea that a US President must be born in the United States of two US citizen parents was cooked up to try to make Barack Obama seem ineligible, and the boomerang returning is the effect this may have on certain conservative presidential hopefuls. In a poll this past May, a fairly significant number of potential voters believe it, and I wonder whether any Republican candidate can receive the presidential nomination who was born outside the United States, or has a non-US-citizen parent.

The occasion is a new article at Gerbil Report™ by Paul Hollrah titled “No, Ted Cruz is Not Eligible to be President.” Hollrah singles out more potential candidates than just Cruz—here’s his take on things:

Ted Cruz Born in Canada, foreign father
Bobby Jindal Born in US, two foreign national parents
Marco Rubio Born in US, two foreign national parents
Rick Santorum Born in US, foreign father

I don’t know whether Santorum’s father, who was born in Italy, was a naturalized citizen or not when Rick Santorum was born, but for the purpose of this discussion it doesn’t matter because we’re not really talking about facts but rumors. Have the birthers poisoned the well for these 4 potential presidential candidates? In a remotely close primary race, the birther nonsense seems to be something that would decide it against them. The disinformation factor was well-stated by the polling company, YouGov, who wrote:

That means more than half of Republicans (53%) would disqualify Texas Senator Ted Cruz from the Presidency on principle.  Cruz was born in Canada to a mother who was an American citizen, while his father was not.   But fewer than one in four Republicans think Cruz was born outside the country; only 10% know his mother was a citizen and his father was not.

imageSome suggest that my Senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, will be a candidate for President in 2016. I can just see him running against Hillary Clinton. The whole race would be about Benghazi. Ugh!

Why is Clinton smiling?

Most think Obama eligible, but just barely

Shocking new "Natural Born Citizen" Poll

Coincidence is high with me a YouGov contributor who was arguing with Devvy Kidd in email today about what “natural born citizen” means (she’s a disciple of Donofrio and Apuzzo) and a new poll of 1,000 persons from YouGov (they didn’t ask me) on this very topic comes out.

It turns out that the answer depends a lot on your politics, but overwhelmingly (77%) Americans would classify people like President Obama (born in the US to a US citizen mother and an alien father) as eligible. Nevertheless, when Obama is named, only 56% call him eligible (13% not sure), and only 39% say that for Ted Cruz (44% not sure). Another way to put it is that 31% believe Barack Obama is not legally eligible to be the president, slightly over the 27% of Americans that are just crazy in general.

A shocking 51% of republicans think Obama is ineligible with 14% not sure. In general those who believe Obama eligible tend to be young,  black,  northeastern, Democrat or liberal.

Here is the YouGov summary page, but I prefer the details. Only a plurality correctly say that a child born in the US to two non-citizen parents is eligible (47% yes, 40% no and 13% not sure).

A majority (61%) believe that someone born overseas to two US Citizen parents is eligible, but if that is reduced to one parent, then it drops to only about 30% voting for eligible.

There is a certain flakiness factor in the results, given that only 91% believe that a child born in the United States to two citizen parents is eligible (with 5% saying “no” and 4% “not sure”). Also 6% say that someone born outside the US to no US citizen parents is eligible (and 7% not sure).

New poll: birthers resist evidence

A new poll from YouGov surveying 1000 Americans between June 30 and July 2, 2012, showed that birtherism is pretty much where it was in April of 2011, and that the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate has had no lasting impact on the conspiracy theory. Responding to the statement: “Barack Obama was born in the United States:” 55 % responded true, 20% false, and 24% not sure.