The majority of Americans believe in SOME conspiracy theories, poll shows

Fascinating and appalling at the same time.

Fairleigh Dickinson poll on conspiracy theories.

Sixty-three percent of registered voters in the U.S. buy into at least one political conspiracy theory, according to results from a recent Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMindPoll. The nationwide survey of registered voters asked Americans to evaluate four different political conspiracy theories: 56 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans say that atleast one is likely true. This includes 36 percent who think that President Obama is hidinginformation about his background and early life, 25 percent who think that the government knewabout 9/11 in advance, and 19 percent who think the 2012 Presidential election was stolen.Generally, the more people know about current events, the less likely they are to believe inconspiracy theories – but not among Republicans, where more knowledge leads to greater belief in political conspiracies.

The reasoning for people believing in these wacky theories is that they are discussed so often must be something to it! How do we combat that? By saying that they are wacky theories without a shred of credibility. Say it enough and people might think there is something to it. But it’s important to see that it’s not just Republicans buying into this and not JUST about Obama.

I liked this quote:

“These beliefs in election fraud pop up after every election,” said Cassino. “Americanstend to be politically isolated, and some can’t fathom that there are people who actually voted for the other guy, so the only way he could have won is through cheating.”

People who feel disenfranchised often resort to conspiracies as viable beliefs. 814 people were surveyed by telephone nationwide from December 10 through December 16, 2012. It appears this gives us a decent cross section of America.

Tip: DJ Grothe

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  7 comments for “The majority of Americans believe in SOME conspiracy theories, poll shows

  1. spookyparadigm
    January 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    I think the one that is particularly interesting is the unemployment one. It is the easiest to check. But more importantly, it was the one that came from “on high.” The others percolated up (unless you count Jerome Corsi as “on high” which one could argue given his role in also creating Swiftboating). But the unemployment one was touted by “serious” people.

  2. Wesley
    January 18, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    I would think that there is a strong correlation between the amount of Internet use, and conspiracy belief. Anyone who has spent 10 minutes in an online forum, particularly a political forum, will see how prevalent such beliefs are. For all the potential the Internet has for the dissemination of reliable information, it is still only filterible using our biases.

  3. Peter Robinson
    January 18, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Perhaps it is no so surprising that people buy into conspiracy theories. Anyone remember Watergate? Yes, I know it was discovered, and NO I am not a CTer, but the fact that there have been conspiracies makes it ‘believable’ for many that there is one around every corner. I can highly recommend Strange Days Indeed – The Golden Age of Paranoia by Francis Wheen for a good historical perspective on this.

    Repugblicans think there are Democrat conspiracies and the new age/hippie/loony fringe see Repugblican conspiracies. Given the general distrust in politicians, much of which is founded on reality, it is hardly surprising.

    • One Eyed Jack
      January 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      “Repugblicans think there are Democrat conspiracies and the new age/hippie/loony fringe see Repugblican conspiracies.”

      Did you really intend that to imply that Democrats are ‘new age/hippie/loony fringe’?

      • Peter Robinson
        January 18, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        No. In my experience democrats tend towards the more reasonable end of the spectrum. Indeed that is why I made the distinction as I did and separated out the [ed. republican] and the new age/loony/hippy fringe. And that is not to say that all new age/hippies are loony fringe in the way we are discussing here re CTs, just as not every [ed. republican] is a CTer, just that the tendency does indeed seem to be far more prevalent in those two groups. Apologies if any lack of clarity there.

        The usual problem with brief comments on complicated topics

        It is interesting to note that Wheen himself sets out in Strange Days Indeed that he set off in search of an ‘alternative society’ as a young hippy. Certainly no great establishment figure now, and famous for writing for Private Eye and exposing real conspiracies, he is at the same time entirely lucid on the crackpot variety of CTer.

    • January 18, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      Peter, please read the Comment Policy.

  4. Lisa Barth
    January 18, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    I don’t really see how you can compare times when the government lied to us, the Gulf of Tonkin incident & weapons of mass destruction, are 2 that come to mind, with the kind of gigantic conspiracies that are out there right know. I guess I’m not putting this too well,but putting Watergate in the same sentence as 9/11 truthers or a supposed cover up of the Presidents birth certificate just doesn’t seem the same.

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