"Birther" has entered the parlance as someone who doubts or flat-out denies President Obama's natural born citizenship. It turns out that a sizable chunk of southern Republicans are birthers.
Public Policy Polling tested North Carolina voters to find out how prevalent the birther phenomenon was in the Tar Heel State. As for the results, wow:
Only 54% of North Carolina voters say with certainty that they believe Barack Obama was born in the United States, with 26% saying they think he was not, and 20% unsure. ...
47% of Republicans in the state think Obama was not born in the US, with 29% unsure, and just 24% stating that they think he was.
Almost half of North Carolina Republicans think President Obama is not a natural born citizen and more than a quarter aren't sure. All told, 76% of North Carolina Republicans - seventy-six percent - qualify as birthers! It also turns out that some of these folks are utter morons:
We also threw in a question about whether people considered Hawaii to be part of the United States, and 8% of respondents either said they did not or that they were unsure.
A prominent subsection of North Carolina birthers doesn't think Hawaii is part of the United States or isn't sure. Wow. Just... wow. But back to Richard Burr. Public Policy Polling also shares this statistical tidbit (emphasis added by me):
I'd be interested to see someone in our North Carolina Press Corps get Richard Burr's take on the birthers. I'm guessing he thinks it's a crackpot theory, but our poll found that 38% of voters who approve of his job performance think Obama was not born in the US while only 35% think he was, so he risks antagonizing his base if he goes too far.
A plurality of those who approve of Burr's job performance are birthers. In other words, the birthers are Burr's base. (Feel free to make a "Burrther" joke here.) This rightly begs the question (that Public Policy Polling thinks should be asked by the North Carolina media, and I wholeheartedly agree): Where does Richard Burr stand on the birther issue? Does Burr think that President Obama is a natural born citizen? Is he not sure?
If Richard Burr agrees with the birthers, then he is a crackpot, too. If Richard Burr agrees with common sense, he risks alienating his birther base. And if Richard Burr gives an "I'm not sure" halfway response, he'll alienate both his birther base and those with common sense.
Do you want a fun little project? Give Burr's Senate offices a call (Asheville: 828-350-2437; Rocky Mount: 252-977-9522; Winston-Salem: 336-631-5125; Gastonia: 704-833-0854; Wilmington: 910-251-1058; Washington DC: 202-224-3154) and note that a vast majority of North Carolina Republicans question whether or not President Obama was born in the United States and very politely ask if Burr also questions whether or not President Obama was born in the United States. Share what you find out in the comments.