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GOP: Party of 'conspiracy mongers'?
A new poll of Republicans shows a party rife with extremist beliefs. But does it reflect reality?
 

The GOP base is dominated by "conspiracy mongers," says Markos Moulitsas, founder of the liberal Daily Kos blog, pointing to a new poll he commissioned of some 2,000 self-identified Republicans nationwide. The survey found, among other "startling" results, that 63 percent of Republicans think President Obama is a socialist, 31 percent say he hates white people, and only 42 percent believe he was born in the U.S. (and is therefore legally qualified to be president). Is this a fair snapshot of today's GOP? (Watch an MSNBC report about the poll's results)

Republicans are crazy: Sure, there may be some bizarro data in the poll results, says Kevin Drum in Mother Jones. But here's the inevitable takeaway: "Republicans are nuts." Seriously, 23 percent of Republicans want their state to secede? Only 8 percent say openly gay people should be allowed to teach public school? "We're officially seeing the Foxification of the Republican Party. It's Roger Ailes' world now, we just live in it."
"Chart of the day: Take two"


The poll tells the story Kos wants to tell: The Daily Kos poll has "wonderful anti-Republican PR results," says Ann Althouse in her blog. But that's hardly surprising, since Moulitsas admits he hired the pollster to help him with the theory for his upcoming book, "American Taliban," which argues that modern-day conservatives share the same agenda as "radical Jihadists." Suffice it to say, Kos got the poll results he wanted.
"The terrible things those 'self-identified Republicans' think..."

The poll's flawed, but worrisome: Certainly the poll findings ought to be taken "with a grain of salt," says Katie Connolly in Newsweek. There are legitimate questions about the poll's sample, and its true relevance since only about a third of voters self-identify as Republicans. But even if it's just "an indicator" of the GOP's mood, the results shows that some "worrying beliefs (and a few outright lies)" have infected "mainstream conservative thought."
"Poll suggests GOPers are edging toward the extreme"

Republicans are conservative — that's news? "Markos is already spinning his poll" as proving that the GOP is crazy, says Tommy Report in Conservatives 4 Palin. But my "takeaways" are that "self-identified Republicans remain very culturally conservative," and they like Sarah Palin. Palin is the top GOP 2012 candidate in the Kos poll, and 53 percent say she is more qualified than Obama to be president.
"DailyKos/Research 2000 poll: Palin leads 2012 GOP primary race"

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SEE MORE OF THE WEEK'S COVERAGE OF THE GOP:

Scott Brown: Model Republican?
Inside the GOP applause strategy
Supreme Court ruling: Pro-GOP?

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

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