In 2008, No Matter What You Told Them, 20 Percent of People Would Not Stop Believing Obama Is a Muslim

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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

A study out this week indicates that there was a small core group of people who — at the height of the 2008 election — believed Barack Obama was a secret Muslim, and could not be convinced otherwise by news reports or words from the candidate himself. Twenty percent of voters were simply convinced Obama was lying. (Some people changed their opinions, the majority — but not all — eventually coming to believe he was a Christian.) The statistics on the people who believed he was a Muslim weren't particularly surprising. From the Times:

Respondents who were younger, less educated, less politically interested, politically conservative and interpreted the Bible literally were more likely to be among those who shifted from answering that Mr. Obama was Christian to answering that he was a Muslim.

It's an old story: People have a tendency to reject new information that contradicts what they already believe. That includes liberals: Just think of how many times George Bush's National Guard service was hashed over. We just love the thing about people taking the Bible literally changing their minds about him being Christian. Who thought of that question? Not, we're guessing, someone who takes the Bible literally.

New Study Sorts Through Obama-Muslim Myth [Caucus/NYT]