Republicans are more likely than Democrats or Independents to incorrectly believe that President Barack Obama adheres to the Muslim faith, according to a recent poll by Gallup.
The poll, conducted June 7-10, found that 18 percent of Republicans believed Obama was Muslim, even though the President is a church-going Christian. In contrast, only 3 percent of Democrats and 12 percent of Independents believed Obama was Muslim.
“Both Obama’s religion and his birthplace have been points of controversy in his public career,” Gallup noted. “These data show that in terms of his religion, most Americans do not adhere to the belief that he is a Muslim. However, the fact that almost one in five Republicans do hold this belief suggests the potential for continuing controversy on this issue in the months ahead.”
The majority of Gallup respondents, 44 percent, said they did not know Obama’s religion. Only 34 percent correctly identified the President as Christian. Another 8 percent said Obama had no religion.
The amount of Americans that believe Obama is Muslim appears to have remained mostly unchanged from two years ago. Gallup’s survey reflects a similar poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2010, as controversy swirled over the proposed construction of an Islamic cultural center in New York City.
Pew’s survey found that 18 percent thought Obama was Muslim, up from 11 percent who said so in March 2009.
The President has blamed the Internet for perpetuating myths about his beliefs.
“There is a mechanism, a network of misinformation, that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly,” Obama said in 2010 during an interview with NBC News. “We dealt with it when we were first running for the presidency. There were those who said I couldn’t win as U.S. senator because I had a funny name.”