March 30, 2008

Wright Controversy Fails to Douse Muslim Rumors

This is kinda weird:

There is little evidence that the recent news about Obama's affiliation with the United Church of Christ has dispelled the impression that he is Muslim. While voters who heard "a lot" about Reverend Wright's controversial sermons are more likely than those who have not to correctly identify Obama as a Christian, they are not substantially less likely to still believe that he is Muslim. Nearly one-in-ten (9%) of those who heard a lot about Wright still believe that Obama is Muslim.

Overall, the impression that Obama is Muslim has at most a slight impact on his fortunes in November - mostly because so few voters hold this belief in the first place. Moreover, Obama is only slightly less competitive against John McCain than Clinton is among the minority who believe this about him.

This Pew study, NBC News, and other sources are finding that Obama came out of the Wright controversy unscathed, while Hillary's poll numbers have actually fallen.  And certainly Obama can now say he has been "tested" and survived.  However, I was hoping that this scandal would douse the false religion rumors, and it looks like that didn't happen.

By Will Friedman in Politics | Permalink  | 


One thing that struck me about the "Obama = Muslim" myth was that -- I think it was on "60 Minutes" a few weeks ago -- this everyday working-class guy, about age 50, was planning on voting for Obama *despite* the myths he had heard about him not being a Christian, etc. He didn't know they were myths--but they weren't enough to sway him from voting for him. Could it be that the myths don't matter?

In the meantime, maybe some leading Methodists could start stepping out of their conventional Protestant farklemtness and actually stand up to help communicate the truth for those Americans to whom him allegedly being a Muslim would matter.

But mainline Protestants just don't do that sort of thing, do they.

Posted by: Simac | Apr 1, 2008 9:34:13 AM

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