Time for Tennesseans to lay off the Jack Daniel's

State residents have some peculiar ideas about President Obama -- almost half think he's a socialist

By Alex Koppelman

Published October 14, 2009 6:15PM (EDT)

Even in the wide, wonderful world of politics, there are sometimes poll results that can be pretty depressing. Then there are the polls that make you just want to shut down the computer, crawl back into bed, pull the covers up and go to sleep for, oh, 70 years or so. A new survey conducted by Middle Tennessee State University falls squarely within the latter category.

The pollsters asked respondents, all from Tennesee, a few questions about President Obama. What they got back was more than a little disturbing. Thirty-four percent of respondents, including 47 percent of Republicans, say Obama was either probably or definitely not born in the U.S. (Fortunately, 50 percent say he was probably or definitely born here. Thank goodness for small favors, right?) Similarly, 30 percent of all respondents, including 48 percent of Republicans, believe it's probably or definitely true that Obama is a Muslim.

Worst of all: A plurality of all respondents, 46 percent, believe that Obama's probably or definitely a socialist. Forty-two percent said they don't believe that's true. Seventy-one percent of Republicans, though, believe it is.

(Hat-tip to Marc Ambinder, who has some interesting related thoughts.)

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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