MSNBC and Democrats (I apologize for my redundancy) are touting a poll that shows a lot of Republicans in Alabama and Mississippi think Barack Obama is a Muslim. Never mind that the head political correspondent in their own newsroom said "I think this question was designed to get a higher percentage in the answer than maybe what's actually true." Read more.
And, of course, political opponents routinely answer poll questions the way they think will most bother a person they don’t like. Remember “More than half of Democrats, according to a neutral survey, said they believed Bush was complicit in the 9/11 terror attacks.”
All of that being said, here is what the media isn’t telling you: the majority of people who believe Barack Obama is a Muslim are not Republicans. Let’s look at a national poll on the subject, conducted by Pew in 2010. (I go back a couple of years to find a national poll with crosstabs. I’ll try to update the post if I find something a little more recent, but you’ll get the point here.)
Pew asked 2,811 people about Barack Obama’s religion. Approximately 536 of them incorrectly said he was a Muslim. Of those 536 people, 261 of them were Republicans, 275 were not. In other words, about 51% of those who believe Obama is Muslim are outside the Republican party.
This echoes much of the national polling on Birthers, MSNBC’s other favorite obsession. Some polls showed that only 38% of Birthers were Republicans. Why doesn’t every republican politician on earth bring this up when they’re asked about it?
So, while MSNBC holds the truth of republican MuslimTruthists and Birthers to be self-evident—Pew apparently does not. In this poll the majority are Democrats or Independents, and while there are probably polls that show the numbers slightly leaning the other way as well—the point is that huge chunks of the MuslimTruthists crowd are as Republican as they are Kenyan. The unfortunate issue here is that a lot of people, regardless of what side of the aisle they are on, are just wrong. That doesn’t make for a good segment of MSNBC ranting though, so it goes unnoticed.