51 percent of Republicans think Obama is foreign born

Public Policy Polling released a survey today on the attitudes of likely Republican primary voters, including their opinions of Obama’s citizenship. The findings are extraordinary, with 51 percent of likely 2012 primary voters saying they believe President Obama was not born in the U.S.

From the report:

Birthers make a majority among those voters who say they’re likely to participate in a Republican primary next year. 51% say they don’t think Barack Obama was born in the United States to just 28% who firmly believe that he was and 21% who are unsure. The GOP birther majority is a new development. The last time PPP tested this question nationally, in August of 2009, only 44% of Republicans said they thought Obama was born outside the country while 36% said that he definitely was born in the United States. If anything birtherism is on the rise.

There is really a remarkable divide in how the birther and non-birther wings of the GOP view Sarah Palin. With the birthers she is a beloved figure, scoring an 83/12 favorability rating. Non-birthers are almost evenly divided on her with 47% rating her positively and 40% unfavorably.

This is yet another poll where we find Palin with the highest favorability among Republican primary voters but still lagging in the horse race. 65% have a positive opinion of her compared to 58% for Huckabee and 55% for Romney and Gingrich. Her problem is that even though they like her, few GOP voters think Palin’s qualified to be President. Asked whether she’s more qualified to be President or Vice President, only 29% of voters place her in the top spot compared to 46% who say she’d be a more appropriate number 2.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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