One of the things you heard a lot from Obama supporters over the last couple of weeks was the rueful observation that the Jeremiah Wright controversy would at least greatly reduce the whisper-campaign-fed perception that he’s a Muslim. Not so, says a new Pew poll.
There is little evidence that the recent news about Obama’s affiliation with the United Church of Christ has dispelled the impression that he is Muslim. While voters who heard “a lot” about Reverend Wright’s controversial sermons are more likely than those who have not to correctly identify Obama as a Christian, they are not substantially less likely to still believe that he is Muslim. Nearly one-in-ten (9%) of those who heard a lot about Wright still believe that Obama is Muslim.
The percentage of Americans believing Obama’s a Muslim ranges from 14% among Republicans, to 10% among Democrats, to 8% among independents. At the risk of repeating one of those misleading triple-loaded poll findings, 23% of white Democrats with an unfavorable opinion of Obama think he’s a Muslim.
Moreover, a third of poll respondents–and a third of Democrats–say they don’t know what religion Barack Obama observes.
Otherwise, the Pew poll has a lot of welcome findings for Obama, showing a positive reaction to his “race speech,” and leads over HRC and McCain roughly the same as they found a month ago. But it’s beginning to become obvious that the “Obama is a Muslim” thing has become one of those ineradicable myths that evidence to the contrary can’t shake.