Poll: Birtherism Shrivels After White House Releases Birth Certificate

Posted: May 05, 2011 11:26 AM
When President Obama finally -- an unnecessarily -- released his long form birth certificate late last month, I expressed a profound hope that by adding the crown jewel of proof to the pile of incontrovertible evidence proving the president's natural-born American status, the "issue" would at last wither on the vine and die.  And wither away it has:

The number of Americans saying President Obama was born in another country has been sliced in half, according to a new Washington Post poll.

In interviews following the public release the president’s “long-form” birth certificate last week, fully 70 percent of Americans say Obama was born in Hawaii, a big bump-up from the 48 percent who said so a year ago. Even more say he was U.S.-born, or call that their best guess, for a total of 86 percent.

The Post poll also shows that the number of conspiracy theorists who believe they possess some sort of "evidence" of the president's foreign origins has plummeted to a statistically-insignificant fringe:

Overall, 10 percent of Americans say Obama was likely born abroad, down from 20 percent in an April 2010 Post-ABC poll. Almost all those who now say Obama was born in a foreign country say that it’s only their“suspicion;” just 1 percent claim “solid evidence” that the president was born elsewhere (9 percent said so last year).

The media has gleefully trotted out embarrassing polling data in recent months indicating that a surprisingly large percentage of Republicans and conservatives harbored doubts about President Obama's birthplace.  Confronted with the additional evidence of the "full" birth certificate, many of president's harshest critics are abandoning the sinking USS Birther en masse:

The drop-off in the mistaken belief that Obama was not-U.S.-born has come most prominently among his sharpest critics. Today, 14 percent of Republicans say Obama was not born in the U.S., down from 31 percent in April of last year. Among the most conservative Republicans, the number of skeptics fell from 35 to 16 percent.

Here's the Post's helpful infographic, breaking down the numbers and illustrating how (blessedly) few Americans still insist on clinging to crazy:

Is anyone else struck by the fact that eleven percent of self-described "Liberal Democrats" subscribed to birtherism as recently as last April?