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Only 9% believe Obama has documented eligibility

Posted By Bob Unruh On 03/20/2011 @ 7:13 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled

Editor’s note: This is another in a series of monthly “WND/WENZEL POLLS” conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.


Barack Obama

Not even one person in 10 says Barack Obama has shown that he is eligible to be president of the United States, according to a stunning new scientific poll that also reveals political independents have less tolerance than even Republicans for his efforts to obfuscate the issue. Another 32 percent would disregard the questions entirely, concluding they are not valid.

“The shocking result in this survey is that just 9 percent said they believe Obama has met the requirements to prove he was born in the United States and is therefore qualified to be president,” said Fritz Wenzel, president of Wenzel Strategies, which conducted the survey.

“Even when you combine those who say such questions are not valid with those who believe he has satisfied the requirements, it still falls short of equaling the percentage who said he should step forward and prove his birth origin once and for all,” he said. Those who say Obama should prove his birth and those who are troubled by the questions make up half of the respondents.

Wenzel Strategies, an independent public opinion research firm based in Ohio, conducted a nationwide telephone poll using a randomly selected sample of adults. The survey, including 1,095 respondents, was conducted March 15-17 and carries a confidence interval of 95 percent and a margin of error of +/- 2.93 percentage points.

“The question of whether Barack Obama is eligible to hold the office of president is remarkable in that so many people are aware of the questions that remain unanswered. The survey shows that 77 percent are aware of the issue, and another 12 percent said they are unsure, which likely means they know a little but not enough to articulate details,” Wenzel said in his analysis of the results.

“Given the level of interest that the American public now devotes to politics, especially in an off-election year, this finding is remarkable. It speaks volumes about Obama’s unwillingness or inability to satisfy this question once and for all,” he said.

It was back in June 2009 when a Wenzel poll showed 51.3 percent were “aware of questions raised about Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for the office of president.”

This month, 77 percent of the Democrats who responded said they are aware of the controversy. Nearly 82 percent of the Republicans are aware and almost 69 percent of the independents. Overall, 76.8 percent said yes, and another 11.7 percent said they were unsure. Only 11.5 percent said there were not aware of the questions.

“Half of those surveyed said they believe these questions about Obama’s legitimacy as president are either troubling or should be satisfied by Obama. In fact, more people want Obama to prove his legitimacy – 42 percent – than believe that the lingering questions are not valid – 32 percent,” Wenzel said.

The survey showed 41.9 percent say Obama should prove his birth story, including 60.9 percent of independents, 58.6 percent of Republicans and 13.2 percent of Democrats.

Another 7.9 percent say the questions are troubling

“What is most interesting is the response on this question of Independent voters: Fully 61 percent of Independents said they want Obama to prove once and for all his birth origin, which is a higher percentage than even among Republicans. Men are also somewhat more skeptical than women,” Wenzel said.

“At a time when this country faces dramatic problems both here at home and around the world, it does harm to Obama’s credibility and undermines the confidence of the American people to have this question hanging out there,” Wenzel explained. “One can only imagine the storm of controversy that might ensue if we discover definitively after his presidency is over that he was not qualified to hold office. The resignation of Richard Nixon would pale by comparison in terms of undermining public confidence in government.

“A corollary issue to the Obama birth certificate is the question about Obama’s refusal to release educational records, which could hold some clue as to his birth origin and early citizenship,” Wenzel said. “Two-thirds of all respondents want those records released, while the other third of respondents oppose the release of those records. It remains unclear why Obama will not comply with any requests to show those records to the public.”

Only 26 percent strongly opposed the release of the records. Nearly 50 percent strongly favored release and another 17 percent said the president should release the records.

“The bottom line on these early-life records of Obama is that this issue lives on, regardless of how derisive some have been toward the so-called ‘birther’ movement,” Wenzel said. “Obama supporters, particularly those in the national news media who have protected the president on this issue, have tried to ostracize those who still have doubts about Obama’s birth, but try as they might, they have done little to quell the questions in the minds of the American public. This issue is far from over.”

“Evidence of that springs from the strong support that the national telephone survey found among Americans for state laws that require candidates for president to prove they are constitutionally qualified to hold the office – before they will be allowed to appear on that state’s presidential ballot,” Wenzel said.

“Fully 65 percent said they support such state bills, while just 24 percent said they oppose such state measures. Huge majorities of both men and women agree with these state proposals and it is popular in every region of the nation,” he said.

“The clear implication from this polling data is that Americans like the idea that, in the absence of full disclosure by presidential candidates and a press corps interested enough to ask and pursue tough questions, state governments will do their own vetting of presidential candidates,” he said.

WND has reported that such proposals already have been made in 13 states, although several of the initiatives have been detoured by politics inside committee meeting rooms.

Another recent poll, of only members of the GOP, said only about 30 percent believe Obama was born in the U.S.

The Public Policy Polling found that only 28 percent of the Republicans surveyed believe Obama was born in the U.S. while 51 percent do not. Another 21 percent say they are not sure.

“Any thought that the birther theory has been put to rest can be thrown out the window,” Dean Debnam, the president of the Democratic-leaning polling firm, told Politico at the time.

“That view is still widely held in Republican circles,” he said.

Other polls in recent months have shown Americans to be increasingly skeptical of Obama’s official narrative:

  • A survey by Angus Reid Global Monitor, a division of Vision Critical Group, in October 2009 found three in 10 people in the U.S. believed Obama to be a foreigner.

    “While only 13 percent of Democratic Party supporters believe Obama was not born in the U.S., the proportion rises to 25 percent among independents and 51 percent among Republican Party backers,” the report said.

  • Then in January 2010, another WND/Wenzel Poll revealed on the one-year anniversary of Obama’s inauguration that fully one-third of Americans refused to believe Obama was a “legitimate president,” with another 15.8 percent saying they were not sure.

    Barely half the voters, 51.5 percent, said they believed the president legitimate even though he had not yet produced the documentation proving his constitutional eligibility. Even 14.6 percent of the Democrats said they did not consider him legitimate.

  • In May 2010, a WND/Wenzel Poll revealed that 55 percent of Americans wanted Obama to release all records relating to his childhood and his education, including “college records, Harvard Law School papers, passport records, travel records and other similar documentation.”

    “Asked what should be done should it be found that Obama does not meet the qualifications to be president, 59 percent said he should be removed from office, and 35 percent said all bills signed into law by Obama should be repealed,” the poll’s analysis said.

  • By last June, other media were beginning to put their toes in the waters of the controversy. A 60 Minutes-Vanity Fair poll revealed only 39 percent of respondents believe Obama was born in Hawaii as he claimed in his book.

    “A shocking 63 percent – very nearly two-thirds of us – went out on a limb and stated for the record that we believe in the United States. It’s enough to make you proud to be an American – or 63 percent proud, at any rate.”

    But that figure included those who said they believe Obama was born in Kansas or some other unknown state, which still would conflict with his story.

  • Last August, a poll by CNN said 6 of 10 people were uncertain Obama was born in the U.S. The poll said only 42 percent believe Obama “definitely” was born in the U.S.

    The CNN report said, “Hawaii has released a copy of the president’s birth certificate – officially called a ‘certificate of live birth.’ And in 1961 the hospital where the president was born placed announcements in two Hawaiian newspapers regarding Obama’s birth.”

    However, the online image released by the Obama campaign during his run for the White House actually is of a short-form “Certification of Live Birth,” which could have been acquired for a baby not born in Hawaii because of the state’s loose regulations.

The Constitution requires a president to be a “natural-born citizen,” which is not the same as a “citizen.”

Other Wenzel Poll questions revealed a large majority of Americans – nearly 66 percent, including 86 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of independents – believe the country is on the wrong track.

They also give Obama a “poor” grade for his job performance, by about the same margin.

And they believe many of the drilling and energy production restrictions in the U.S. now should be lifted and are split on the idea of building more nuclear power facilities.


If you are a member of the media and would like to interview Fritz Wenzel about this story, please e-mail.


See detailed results of survey questions:

Are you aware of questions raised about Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for the office of president?

What is your view of lingering questions about Obama’s eligibility to be president?

President Obama has refused to release his educational records, which could prove or disprove whether or not he was born in the United States as required by the Constitution. What is your opinion of the fact Obama has not released his educational records?

Some states have drafted legislation requiring candidates for president to prove that they were born in the United States and also meet all other constitutional requirements to be qualified to serve as president of the United States. Do you support or oppose such state legislation?

Generally speaking, do you think the United States is headed in the right direction, or is it off on the wrong track?

Overall, how would you rate the job performance of President Obama?

Thinking about energy and political developments in the Middle East, which of the following ideas comes closet to what you think should be done about drilling for oil and natural gas in America?

America is relying more and more on electric power today to run everything from computers to heaters to electric cars, and some parts of the country already suffer from a shortage of electricity. Some have said the only way to generate enough electricity is to build new nuclear power plants. But, in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in Japan, new questions have arisen. Do you think America should press forward to once again begin building nuclear power plants, or should plans for nuclear power plants be shelved?

Please tell me which of the following statements comes closest to your thinking about alternative energy sources – that alternative energies will eventually replace fossil fuels and we must pay short-term high prices during the transition, or that alternatives will fail when government subsidies end, and we should stick with fossil fuels?

Do you believe that the U.S. government should continue to spend money to subsidize the alternative energy industry, or should it save money by ending all such subsidies?


If you’d like to sound off on this issue, please take part in the WND poll.


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