According to a new PPP poll released today, birthers now make up a majority of likely GOP voters in 2012.
According to the poll, 51% say they believe Obama was not born in the United States. Only 28% say they think he was, 21% are unsure. That means nearly 3/4 – 72% – of GOP primary voters either believe Obama was not born in the United States or are unsure about the matter. This is nothing short of collective insanity taking over an entire major political party in this nation.
So let’s look at some birther vs. non-birther (meaning people who believe Obama was born in the US) numbers. Birthers are generally much happier with the slate of candidates than non-birthers are, with birthers giving a higher net favorability to every candidate asked. The “not sure” people usually fell in between the two groups, except for Romney and Paul, who were viewed more favorably by the “not sures” than either pure birthers or non-birthers. Romney is the most consistent of all the candidates, getting a net +26 among non-birthers and +28 among non-birthers, but he also has a lower overall favorability than either Huckabee or Palin. Palin has the most people rating her favorably, at 65%, but Huckabee has the highest net favorability rating, at +43.
Probably not shockingly, the more conservative one is, the less likely you are to think that Obama was born in the US. Those describing themselves as moderates are a net +2 in favor of birtherism, with 46% saying Obama was not born in the United States and 44% saying he was. That moves to a net +14 in favor of birtherism for those who describe themselves as “somewhat conservative” and then +44% for those labeling themselves as “very conservative,” with a full 60% of those people saying they believe Obama was born in the US and only 15% saying he was.
Women are more certain of their opinions about whether Obama was born in the US, with 29% saying he was and 53% saying he wasn’t, with 17% unsure. Among men, 26% say he was, 49% say he wasn’t, and 25% are unsure.
As for the choice of candidates, Huckabee leads with 20%, with Romney in 2nd at 17%, Palin in 3rd at 15%, and Gingrich in 4th at 12%, with “someone else” drawing 18%. However, things get interesting when you break it down into birther and non-birther. Romney wins non-birthers with 19%, while Huckabee finishes 2nd with 17%, with Palin getting 11% and Ron Paul coming in 4th at 10%. Gingrich falls all the way down to 8%, while “someone else” gets a whopping 23%. Meanwhile birthers give Huckabee 24%, Palin 19%, Gingrich 14%, while dropping Romney to 4th with 11%. They also have the lowest “someone else” score of any of the three categories, with only 15% saying so. Romney is running away with the group who is “not sure,” getting 29%, with the next closest candidate being Huckabee with 15%, and Palin coming in 4th with 10%.
Next, lets look at at favorability of candidates based on primary choice. Palin has the most loyal supporters, with 99% of people supporting her giving her a favorable view, though Romney is pretty close with 97% of his supporters approving of him, and 95% of Gingrich supporters approving of him. Huckabee is different. He still has a high number, but only 81% of his supporters have a favorable view of him, with 17% being unsure, meaning that Huckabee might end up being able to draw voters who just don’t like any of the other candidates.
Palin and Huckabee supporters also seem to be similar. Not only are they the two people who get the most support from birthers, but Huckabee gets the highest favorability ratings, besides from his own supporters, from Palin’s supporters, and the same is true of Palin from Huckabee’s supporters, meaning that if one of these two candidates don’t run or drops out, the other may get a lionshare of their former supporters. This is further evidenced by the fact that a plurality of Palin supporters – 36% – say they support Huckabee as a 2nd choice while a plurality of Huckabee supporters – 40% – choose Palin as a 2nd choice. Dangerously for everyone else, however, Huckabee is also the primary 2nd choice of Romney and Gingrich supporters, meaning that Palin, Romney, and Gingrich might do well to try to push him out as soon as they can.
Meanwhile, many of the people who support Romney or Gingrich aren’t sure about Huckabee. Both groups give Huckabee around 55% approval with 30% just not being sure about him. The same can’t be said of Palin where, while she still has a net approval among the supporters of all candidates except Paul’s, she has a 36% disapproval among Gingrich supporters and 33% disapproval among Romney supporters. Those are the biggest disapproval numbers from supporters of any of the big 4 candidates for any of the other big 4 candidates. Meanwhile, Ron Paul’s supporters pretty much hate everyone but Paul, and everyone else’s supporters hate Paul.
One might think that a conservative turnout might help Palin? Well, it might not. Palin still comes in 3rd among those described as both “somewhat” and “very” conservative. She comes in 2nd among those describing themselves as moderate, behind Mitt Romney. Also, open primaries may hurt Huckabee. Among Republicans, Huckabee gets 21%, but among Independents, he finishes in 4th with 14%. Gingrich fares even worse, finishing tied for 3rd at 14% among Republicans but getting an abysmal 3% of independents.
And what about women? Might Palin be helped by conservative women? Maybe, but maybe not. Palin certainly has the highest favorability rating among women among the top 4 candidates, at 62%, but Palin also has the highest unfavorability rating among women, at 31%. Palin actually comes in 3rd out of the 4 in net favorability among women, with Huckabee having a net +45 among women, Romeny having +34, Palin +31, and Gingrich at +26.
Palin actually does much better among men, having the highest net favorability among men out of the four at +49, with Huckabee at +42, Gingrich at +31, and Romney at +27. However, when it comes to choice of candidate, gender makes virtually no difference. 20% of both men and women support Huckabee, 17% of both men and women support Romney, and 15% of both men and women support Palin. Despite his lower net approval among women, Gingrich does slighly better among women, getting 13% vs. 11% of men.