I have to say, this new PPP Poll on Birtherism surprises me: 51% of Republicans who plan to vote in the Republican presidential primaries are outright Birthers, plus 21% are maybe-Birthers. The GOP is a lot worse off than I imagined.
This is less surprising:
There is really a remarkable divide in how the birther and non-birther wings of the GOP view Sarah Palin. With the birthers she is a beloved figure, scoring an 83/12 favorability rating. Non-birthers are almost evenly divided on her with 47% rating her positively and 40% unfavorably.
And this no surprise at all, given the party’s makeup as polled above:
How does this impact Romney? Well among the 49% of GOP primary voters who either think Obama was born in the United States or aren’t sure, Romney’s the first choice to be the 2012 nominee by a good amount, getting 23% to 16% for Mike Huckabee, 11% for Sarah Palin, and 10% for Newt Gingrich. But with the birther majority he’s in a distant fourth place at 11%, with Mike Huckabee at 24%, Sarah Palin at 19%, and Newt Gingrich at 14% all ahead of him.
A lot of conservatives don’t like Romney because they see him as liberal, no matter how he tries, and the religious right doesn’t like Romney’s Mormon religion. Birthers don’t like Mitt Romney, finding his natural born citizenship status not to their precise standards. Romney’s family had spent a couple of generations in Mexico–his polygamist grandparents would have been violating Mexican immigration law of the time, incidentally–where his father was born in 1907, before the immediate family return-immigrated to the United States in 1912, as refugees from the Mexican Revolution.
Mitt Romney was born in Michigan, making him a natural born citizen, just as President Obama’s birth in Hawaii makes him. But Birthers find the circumstances of Romney’s father’s birth in another country offensive, as they do, too, Obama’s. Though born in Mexico, George Romney’s parents were born in Utah, never renounced American citizenship, and were raised in Mexico. George Romney ran as a Republican presidential candidate in 1968; not without some questions asked, but he wasn’t stopped from running by his Mexican birth.
Birthers believe in levying the “sins” of the father against the son.
Birthers are idiots and they now command a majority in the Republican base. The Party’s leadership, of course, bears some responsibility for this sorry state of affairs.