While birtherism remains something of a fringe movement — the main exception being Donald Trump — its most basic tenet, that Obama is hiding something from the public, seems to have gained currency with actual conservatives. According to a Farleigh Dickinson University Poll published today, nearly two out of three registered Republican voters continue to believe Obama is protecting his past:
The nationwide survey of registered voters asked Americans to evaluate four different political conspiracy theories [...] the most popular of these conspiracy theories is the belief that President Obama is hiding important information about his background and early life, which would include what’s often referred to “birtherism.” Thirty-six percent of Americans think this is probably true, including 64 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats.
The FDU poll also revealed a curious quirk in how members of the two major political parties treat new information:
Generally, the more people know about current events, the less likely they are to believe inconspiracy theories – but not among Republicans, where more knowledge leads to greater belief in political conspiracies.
While it's not 100% conclusive, the phenomenon could explain why a majority of Republicans continue to believe in parts of a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory about the sitting President.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.