PPP: Only 38% of Republicans Will Support Candidate Who Rejects “Birtherism”

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    Public Policy Polling pretty much sums up the insanity that has infected today’s Republican Party.

    Only 38% of Republican primary voters say they’re willing to support a candidate for President next year who firmly rejects the birther theory and those folks want Mitt Romney to be their nominee for President next year. With the other 62% of Republicans- 23% of whom say they are only willing to vote for a birther and 39% of whom are not sure– Donald Trump is cleaning up. And as a result Trump’s ridden the controversy about Barack Obama’s place of birth to the highest level of support we’ve found for anyone in our national GOP polling so far in 2011.

    What would be the equivalent on “the left” (in quotes because, in this country, we have a centrist party and a far-right part, but no significant “left” or progressive party) of this finding? It’s hard to even think of one, but perhaps if only 38% of Democratic primary voters were willing to vote for a Democratic candidate who firmly rejected 9/11 conspiracy theories? Crazy, I know, and of course that’s not the case. Yet on the Republican side, there are actually 23% of voters who will ONLY vote for a “birther” and 39% who aren’t sure if they’d only vote for a “birther.” (see FactCheck.org for a complete debunking of that “theory”)

    By the way, it’s not just “birtherism” that’s infected the Republican Party these days. It’s also denial of climate science (despite massive, overwhelming, undeniable evidence over decades and thousands of studies), belief that all our budget problems are because of “out-of-control spending” (correct answer: our budget deficit is overwhelmingly the result of the Bush tax cuts, two unpaid-for wars, the recession, and rising health care costs fueled by an unhealthy and aging population), near-theological belief that the answer to every problem is to cut taxes for rich people and corporations, and even dabbling with “nullification” (Ken Cuccinelli and many other Republicans), paranoia about “Sharia Law” taking over America (I know, WTF?!?!?), and even secessionist tendencies (Rick Perry) The question is, what’s happened to cause the Republican Party electorate to go so completely haywire in recent years? A combination of 9/11, economic malaise, and the election of a mixed-race president? Is something else going on here? What do you think?

    • pontoon

      for prejudice in my view.  The 23% of Republican primary voters who will only vote for a birther candidate are racist.  The other 39% who aren’t sure, have a bit of a conscience and struggle with their prejudices.  I saw this firsthand during the 2008 election.  Voters would often tell us I won’t, can’t vote for a black man.  Others would say, “His mother was white.  I’m going to focus on his mother being white.”

      I think Repubs have always been haywire.  In my adult life, the Republican party has shown itself to be consistently extreme.  Look at the abortion issue…very extreme…people killed, abortion centers blown up.  Look at gun control issues.  They will fight to allow folks to have these large magazines and any type of gun including machine guns forever.  Cuccinelli just said it is okay to take guns into churches.  That’s pretty extreme.  

      They don’t actually believe that our debt problems have been caused by out-of-control spending.  They do believe, however, that to be reelected they have to kowtow to their corporate masters, so they will give the Repubs the money to stay in office.  So they say the “job creators” must have lower taxes to create jobs even tho that is a proven myth.  Their out-of-control spending mantra is nothing more than lip service offered to bamboozle rank and file Republicans to vote against their own interests.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      The Republican Party for many years has been using various fears and prejudices to attract people who have absolutely no economic reason to support a party whose philosophy is to promote the interests of business and corporations above all else.

      To my mind, the full-blown insanity that the GOP has become began with Goldwater/Nixon and the “southern strategy.” When a Democratic president (Johnson) and a Democratic Congress passed the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and the Voting Rights Bill of 1965, the GOP that traditionally had been the party of social moderation – the party of Lincoln, for God’s sake – stepped into the vacuum in the South (and in substantial parts of the North) and used racism and the fear that feeds it as a political weapon. The strategy “worked,” in the sense of electing Republicans. “Birtherism” is nothing more than racism by another name.

      Now, the GOP is infested with “strategies” that use zenophobia (anti-immigrant), homophobia, old-fashioned anti-black racism (that which cannot speak its name anymore), etc. Sadly, all these appeals to the “worst angels of our natures” leaves the country without a responsible conservative point of view.

    • vaambition

      How they will react when we elect a President who is African American instead of mixed race…they heads will probably spin off of thier bodies

    • kindler

      I don’t mind coexisting and dealing with Republicans who simply have a different ideology and set of viewpoints.  But when you have large numbers of people not only willing, but desperate to believe BIG LIES, that is a serious threat to the country — a time when we become capable of electing a Milosevic or Hitler.

      While I see the advantage of Repubs nominating wackos, in that it makes them easier to beat, it also worries me — if one of these people actually slipped through and became president, God only knows where that would leave us.  Better to have a few reasonable people in the GOP — though at this point there are almost none left.