The good news: It’s a heavy blow to the Trump boomlet. The bad news: … none that I can think of, really.
Actually, the bad news is that I lose a vein of easy content to blog. Help me, viral videos, you’re my only hope.
More crosstabs from WaPo. The “Honolulu/Hawaii” column is the big one, obviously:
This poll was conducted before Obama’s announcement of the Bin Laden killing, in case you’re inclined to attribute the huge bounce to goodwill rather than evidence. Needless to say, the key lines are the ones for Republicans and Conservative Republicans; in both groups, the number of Birthers was cut by more than half after the birth certificate revelation. (In fact, it was likely deeper than that. Birtherism had been spiking in the last few weeks since Trump mainstreamed the issue, so it was probably higher than the April 2010 numbers shown here.) I argued a few weeks ago that, contrary to big media’s received wisdom, Birthers aren’t a homogeneous group but rather a mix of hardcore and softcore believers, the latter of which were simply misinformed because they weren’t following the issue closely. These numbers bear that out. Which, for Chris Matthews, means … what? Republicans are racist, but maybe not quite as racist as he thought? What happens to the narrative?
Some people were hassling me in Headlines over this poll because I suggested yesterday in the post about the Bin Laden photos that evidence doesn’t convince skeptics anymore. Fair enough; at the very least, I should have qualified that by specifying that I meant skeptics with an agenda. But give the Birther issue time. I’ll be mighty keen to see if the numbers still look like this in six months — which, theoretically, they should — or if they start to creep back up as discontent with Obama’s policies rises and/or hardcore Birthers regroup and start challenging the long-form birth certificate. Trump had better hope so. Somehow, I don’t see the “trade war with China” platform carrying him to the nomination.