EDITOR'S NOTE: The story below includes references to polling conducted by the firm Research 2000. The reliability and accuracy of Research 2000's polling has since been called into serious question by a report published in June 2010 by a group of statistical analysts.
Less than half of Republicans believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America, a new public opinion poll finds.
Only 42 percent of Republican respondents in a Research 2000 survey, conducted for the liberal website Daily Kos, said they thought Obama was a natural born citizen; 28 percent said they did not believe Obama was born in the United States; 30 percent said they were not sure.
The responses, which were gathered after several prominent conservative media personalities fed suspicion that Obama was unconstitutionally holding office, show the extent to which the conspiracy has taken hold in the GOP.
That only a plurality of Republicans were willing to acknowledge the president was born in America is nothing short of astounding, considering the preponderance of evidence that confirms his Hawaiian birth.
The conspiracy has a regional flavor. Overall, even including Democrats and independents, only 47 percent of respondents in the South said they believed Obama was born in America, with 23 percent saying he was not and 30 percent saying they were unsure. In the Northeast and Midwest, the percentage of respondents who believe Obama was born in the U.S. was over 90 percent.
Ninety-three percent of Democrats say the president was born in the United States, as do 83 percent of independents.
The Research 2000 findings were pulled together from a survey of 2,400 adults.