Americans’ Belief in Conspiracy Theories

Researchers at Fairleigh Dickinson University recently demonstrated what my regular readers already know: Americans believe in conspiracy theories.

According to their telephone poll of registered voters across the United States, 63% of those polled believed at least one of the following conspiracy theories:

  • Barack Obama is hiding something about his background
  • George W. Bush had prior information about the 9/11 attacks
  • Republicans stole the presidential election of 2004
  • Democrats stole the presidential election of 2012

A more complete breakdown of the results is linked above, but here’s a sample:

75% of Republicans vs. 56% of Democrats believe one of the four conspiracy theories.

36% of those polled (64% Repubs. v. 14% Dems. v. 33% Indeps. ) believe the birther theory about Obama.

25% (36% of Dems. vs. 12% Repubs. vs. 22% Indeps.) believe the 9/11 truther theory about Bush.

The researchers point out that education lessens the tendency to believe in a conspiracy theory, although that result bore itself out more among educated Democrats than educated Republicans.

One last interesting tidbit: 75% of African Americans vs. 62% of whites believed in at least one conspiracy theory.

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