Belief that Obama is Muslim is Durable, Bipartisan – but Most Likely to Sway Democratic Votes

Source Organization: Pew Research Center

Author: Michael Dimock


07/15/2008 - The New Yorker magazine's controversial cover has renewed focus on public misperceptions of Sen. Barack Obama's faith. Despite recurrent media attention to the issue -- including extensive coverage of his association with the controversial Protestant cleric, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- the incorrect perception that the Democratic presidential candidate adheres to the Muslim faith or to another non-Christian faith has remained remarkably constant over the course of the 2008 election campaign. The belief that Obama is Muslim, however, appears to have virtually no effect on Republican voters -- who overwhelmingly support McCain in any case. But Democrats who share the misperception are significantly less likely to support Obama.

In the latest survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 12% say Obama is Muslim, virtually unchanged from 10% in March. This misperception is not limited to voters who oppose Obama. Identical percentages of Republicans and Democrats (12% each) think he is Muslim, and the link between views of Obama's religion and their candidate choice vote is strongest among Democrats.

Read the complete findings Belief that Obama is Muslim is Durable, Bipartisan – but Most Likely to Sway Democratic Votes on the Pew Research Center Web site.

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