very once in a while, the fine pollsters at Public Policy Polling decide to troll America. And America usually makes it worth their while. This time, PPP decided to ask voters about "20 widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories." They cover everything from "oldies-but-goodies" to just plain cuckoo to borderline cases and even "non-crazy conspiracy theories."
There's something for just about everyone to raise their eyebrows over. The entire survey, including cross tabs, is here (PDF). A look at some of our favorite numbers:
Percentage of respondents who believe there was a conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy — the only majority response for any of the conspiracy theories
Percentage who think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing JFK
Percentage of voters 18 to 39 who think the JFK assassination was a conspiracy
Percentage of voters 18 to 39 who believe that "shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate our societies." Another 13 percent are not sure.
Percentage of all respondents who believe in the lizard people conspiracy
Percentage of voters who believe that President Obama is the Antichrist
Percentage of Republicans who think Obama is the Antichrist — or at least "think it would be funny to say so," says Slate's David Weigel
Percentage of voters who say global warming is a hoax (51 percent say it is not)
Percentage of Republicans who say global warming is a hoax
Percentage of voters who believe "the Bush administration intentionally misled the public about the possibility of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to promote the Iraq War." 45 percent don't believe this.
Percentage of Democrats who believe Team Bush lied about Iraq WMDs
Percentage of voters who believe "the United States government knowingly allowed the attacks on September 11th, 2001, to happen." 78 percent do not believe this.
Percentage of voters who believe that aliens exist (24 percent are unsure)
Percentage of voters who believe "a UFO crashed at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, and the U.S. government covered it up"
Percentage of Hispanics who believe in the Roswell UFO conspiracy
Percentage of black voters who believe in the Roswell UFO conspiracy
Percentage of black voters who believe "the CIA was instrumental in distributing crack cocaine into America's inner cities in the 1980s"
Percentage of Hispanic voters who believe the CIA pushed crack on inner cities
Percentage of voters who believe that "a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order"
Percentage of Mitt Romney voters who believe in the New World Order (a plurality — 35 percent do not believe this)
Percentage of voters who believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks
Percentage of Romney voters who believe Hussein was involved in 9/11
Percentage of voters who believe the moon landing was faked
Percentage of voters who believe in a link between autism and childhood vaccinations. 34 percent are unsure.
Percentage of voters who believe the "media or the government adds secret mind-controlling technology to television broadcast signals"
- The 10 worst-reviewed movies of 2013
- Watch The Daily Show mock the NSA and the gamers they're spying on
- Is the rent really too damn high?
- Americans are wealthier than ever*
- Antarctica recently experienced the coldest day in recorded history
- Godzilla: Watch the surprisingly grim trailer for the blockbuster reboot
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- The secrets of happy families
- Why you shouldn't expect a Tea Party primary wave in 2014
- The science of making a guitar sound like a human voice
Subscribe to the Week