BOR POLL: 60% of Texas Republicans Think President Not Born in US; 21% “Not Sure”

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As part of our year-long statewide polling series, BOR PAC and People Calling People conducted a survey of likely Republican primary voters. We defined “likely voter” to mean a registered voter who had voted in at least two of the last three Republican Primaries (2006, 2008, 2010). Calls were placed to a random subset of those voters May 15-16, 2012. Read the results of our electoral questions here.

At the end of the poll, we surveyed Republican primary voters on their attitudes towards President Barack Obama's country of origin. Here are the results:

“Do you believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States?”
No 60%
Not Sure 21%
Yes 18%
TOTAL (MOE 4.9%, 405 Responses) 100%

That's right, 60% of Republican primary voters believe that the President was not born in the United States. Another 21% “aren't sure,” which is the response you give if you don't think the President was born in the US but don't want to sound like a totally racist cracker on an IVR poll. Only 18% of Republican primary voters know that the President was indeed born in the United States, because like it or not, Hawaii is part of our country.

Now, to be fair, the Republican primary electorate skews old: 73% of respondents were age 60 or over. Hawaii was only admitted to the union in 1959, so evidently for Texas Republican primary voters, the State of Hawaii is still a new-fangled notion worthy of scrutiny, as is the President born there. We didn't survey whether or not Republicans believe that John McCain was born in the United States — he wasn't, he was born in the Panama Canal Zone — because Republicans don't doubt the American heritage of White candidates, now do they? However, if your Republican relatives ascribe to the Birther mentality, you can always buy them a mug reminding them that Barack Obama was indeed made in the USA, with a birth certificate to prove it.

We'll have more results from our Republican primary poll later today.

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