Poll: 63 percent of Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory
Most Americans are conspiracy theorists in one way or another, a new poll says.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind survey released Thursday reveals that 63 percent of registered voters subscribe to at least one of four conspiracy theories.
Twenty-three percent of respondents indicated that it was “probably true” that President George W. Bush committed voter fraud to win Ohio during the 2004 presidential election; 20 percent of respondents said it was “probably true” that supporters of President Barack Obama committed voter fraud to win re-election last November; and 25 percent of respondents said it was “probably true” that Bush was informed about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks before they occurred.
Thirty-six percent of respondents said it was “probably true” that “President Obama is hiding important information about his background and early life.”
Liberal media outlets gravitated towards a subset of that result showing 64 percent of Republican respondents agreed with that conspiracy. ThinkProgress and Salon initially used that statistic to erroneously claim that it showed that 64 percent of Republicans are birthers, or believe that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, even though the question did not specify that.
“Do 64 percent of Republicans think Obama was born in Kenya? Almost certainly not,” the survey’s author Dr. Dan Cassin0 told The Daily Beast in a statement. “How many believe which elements is a question for a future study: a difficult one to carry out because of respondent reactivity, but a worthwhile one, nonetheless.”
Both ThinkProgress and Salon have since changed their headlines.
The poll surveyed 814 registered voters nationwide and has a 3.4 percent margin of error.
Follow Jamie on Twitter