The most important election Tuesday is the vote to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, but the funnest election is the California Republican Senate primary, where birther queen Orly Taitz has some chance of becoming an actual Republican nominee. That's not to say she'd be a terrible fit for the party. Most items on Taitz's 12-plank platform in her campaign to beat California Sen. Diane Feinstein is pretty standard Republican stuff -- reviewing environmental regulations to increase domestic energy production (Rick Perry wanted that), a tax credit for companies coming back to the U.S. (Rick Santorum wanted that), strong support for U.S. allies (Mitt Romney talks about that). There's just one little outlier way down at No. 12:
I will launch an investigation of Barack Obama for occupying the White House, while using a fraudulently obtained Connecticut Social Security number 042-68-4225, which was never assigned to him according to E-verify and SSNVS and for using a computer generated forgery (according to experts) instead of a valid Long Form birth certificate. I will demand investigation and prosecution of governmental officials who are aiding and abetting Barack Obama in his occupation of the position of the U.S. President without any valid identification papers.
So is it the first 11 planks of her platform or the last one that's winning over Californians? Has the big blue state gone birther? Another reason is possible: Taitz is a woman.
California is debuting a new primary system, in which all candidates compete in the primary and then the top two finishers compete against each other in the general election. In a SurveyUSA poll conducted May 27 to May 29, Taitz was polling at 1 percent. But in a robo-poll conducted Sunday and commissioned by Taitz was polling in second place behind Feinstein. That survey of 500 likely voters, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, found Feinstein polling at 38 percent, and Taitz polling at 11 percent. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percent. But look at how the question was asked:
If the election for U.S. Senator from California were held today for whom would you vote?
11% Republican Doctor, Attorney and Businesswomen Orly Taitz
10% Republican Businessman and CPA Greg Conlon
38% Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein
1% Republican Businessman Al Ramirez
3% Republican Businessman Dan Hughes
3% Democratic Physicist David Levitt
2% Republican Business Attorney Rick Williams
9% Republican Businesswomen and Non-Profit Executive Elizabeth Emken
10% Some other candidate
13% Not sure
The question emphasizes that Taitz's resume and that she's female. Women voters tend to know less about politicians running for office than men voters, and the poll finds Taitz performing really well among women -- getting 17 percent of their vote to 5 percent of the male vote. The SurveyUSA poll, on the other hand, found Taitz getting more male than female voters.
The Daily Beast's John Avlon calls Taitz "nut-balls," her poll numbers "embarrassing," and funny-sad. "Those of you who think it would be funny to put forward a clownishly unelectable candidate—and those of you who think that Taitz is somehow strangely speaking truth to power—think of your state," Avlon urges Californians. "Think of your country." But it might not be so much that Californians are pranking America or buying into birtherism as much as that they just aren't reading blogs and have no idea who Taitz is.
Here's Taitz's campaign video:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.