1 In 3 SC Republicans Believe Obama Not Born In U.S.
It's been five months since President Obama produced a detailed birth certificate proving he was born in Hawaii. And yet a new poll out of Winthrop University shows one in three South Carolina Republicans still believe Obama was not born in the U.S. The reason people around the country pay any attention to these polls of South Carolina Republicans is because the state holds an important early primary election for candidates who want to be president. So this latest poll showing a full 36 percent of South Carolina Republicans - and those who lean Republican - still think Obama was born in another country, has elicited some guffaws from national analysts. But Winthrop's Scott Huffmon says the result is "not necessarily just about people truly believing whether (the President) was born on American soil or not." "It's really looking for an additional way to express dissatisfaction with somebody they don't like," says Huffmon. The so-called "birther" conspiracy doesn't just persist in South Carolina - last month Public Policy Polling found 32 percent of Iowa Republicans believe the same thing. "I refer to it as the kicked puppy syndrome," says Huffmon. "If you were to ask someone about someone they absolutely hate and then say, 'By the way do you think they've ever kicked a puppy?' They'd answer, 'Oh yeah, sure, I bet they have.'" If it's at all embarrassing to have so many Republicans in South Carolina ignoring the evidence of Obama's birthplace, Matt Moore isn't letting on. He's Executive Director of the South Carolina Republican Party. "For the party here in South Carolina this issue has been closed," says Moore, pointing to the poll's finding that 62 percent of the state's Republicans say jobs and the economy are more important issue facing the U.S. "That's twice as many as are arguing over birth certificates and those kinds of things," says Moore. "The fact is this country's on the wrong track and our party is gonna pick the nominee that's gonna win next year." Winthrop's poll finds Texas Governor Rick Perry is virtually tied with Mitt Romney among South Carolina Republicans who definitely plan to vote. Further down the list, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann is losing ground among the state's Republicans, while Georgia businessman Herman Cain is slowly gaining. Likely South Carolina Republican voters nearly all agree on one thing - they're unhappy with President Obama, and 75 percent of them even think "socialist" is a good word to describe him.