Birtherism Isn't Going Away

Despite the fact that Barack Obama has an extensively documented past, and despite the fact that he revealed his birth certificate in a widely covered press conference, it seems that the birthers have turned Obama’s origins into an open question for a large chunk of the public. Here’s the latest survey from YouGov:

Only 55 percent of Americans believe, for certain, that Obama was born in the United States. That’s an astoundingly low number, and a sign that doubts about his citizenship will persist for the length of his time in office, and beyond. As I’m sure you can imagine, the numbers are far worse for Republicans:

The belief that Barack Obama is an American citizen is a minority position in the Republican Party. My guess is that this has little to do with actual thought, and everything to do with tribal identification—rejecting Obama as a citizen is another way of rejecting his legitimacy as president. Even still, it’s deeply worrisome that so many citizens are willing to accept the ludicrous notion that Obama is secretly a foreigner.