May 10 2012
After nearly four years in the Oval Office, Barack Obama is thought to be Muslim by one in six American voters, and only one in four voters are willing to identify him as a Christian, according to a new poll.
HUFFPO “Wow. He said it 100 times that he’s not a Muslim,” said Zainab Al-Suwaij, executive director of the American Islamic Congress, expressing surprise over the persistent number of American voters who make the mistake.
Is there something insidious behind the belief, a concerted attack to link the president with a religion that’s considered alien — or worse — by some Americans? (Uh, yup!)
“I think it’s more a lack of information than an attack on him,” said Al-Suwaij. (Oh, there’s more than enough information, not to mention his excessive Muslim pandering, outreach, and observances of every Muslim holiday over the past 4 years)
While Americans across the board get the president’s religion wrong, the religious group that most often thinks Obama is Muslim is white evangelical Protestants (24 percent). American unaffiliated with a religious group make the error least often: just 7 percent identify Obama as Muslim.
Daniel Cox, PRRI’s research director, said the small but not insignificant sliver of Americans who still believe Obama is Muslim is “fascinating.”
“Quite frankly, I’m not really sure what to make of it other than this person, although he speaks quite comfortably about his faith, doesn’t wear his religion on his sleeve,” Cox said. “It’s an important part of who he is, but it’s not an important part of his public persona.”
The poll also found that white evangelical Protestants, who were suspicious of Romney in the early GOP primaries, are warming up to Romney now that he’s the presumptive nominee.
Romney’s support among white evangelicals has jumped 27 percent since October; evangelicals support him over Obama, 68 to 19 percent.
“There are clear signs that white evangelical Protestants are moving beyond any reservations they may have held earlier in the campaign about Romney’s Mormon faith,” said Cox.