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.
Half of Americans would like to see Congress investigate Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency and nearly that many believe the definition of the constitutional term “natural born citizen” means both parents must be U.S. citizens, according to a new scientific poll.
“There’s no marginalizing those who want this matter investigated by Congress,” said Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies, who conducted the WND/Wenzel Poll telephone survey June 16-19. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.85 points.
“Even among Democrats, more than one in four – 28 percent – said they now want an inquiry, as do 43 percent of independents and 77 percent of Republicans. Interestingly, men are much more skeptical than are women about the question of eligibility – only 42 percent of men said they think Obama proved his eligibility by releasing the electronic birth certificate, compared to 59 percent of women.”
The poll indicated 43.5 percent of Americans believe that a Hawaii birth would make no difference in Obama’s eligibility, as the Constitution requires both parents of a U.S. president to have been U.S. citizens – and Obama’s father was not a citizen.
The figure included 56.9 percent of the GOP, 40.2 percent of independents and 32.9 percent of Democrats.
The eligibility saga, as Wenzel noted, has taken on a life of its own. It began with questions about Obama’s birth place and parentage before his election. At that time, he released a computer image of a “Certification of Live Birth” from Hawaii and insisted it was original and the only document available.
Dozens of lawsuits followed, and hundreds of questions remained unanswered. Documents that typically would be available from a president’s history for Obama remain concealed, including passport records, kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, University of Chicago articles, Illinois State Bar Association records, Illinois State Senate records and schedules, medical records, Obama/Dunham marriage license, Obama/Dunham divorce documents, Soetoro/Dunham marriage license and adoption records.
Then in April, just as a new book, “Where the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is Not Eligible to Be President,” by Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., reached the No. 1 spot on Amazon and was about to be released, Obama took a dramatic step.
He instructed his White House counsel, Robert Bauer, to have a private attorney, Judy Corley of Perkins Coie, contact the Hawaii Department of Health to obtain a copy of his “Certificate of Live Birth” purportedly on file with the state.
The White House subsequently released copies of a copy of that document, as well as an online image, calling it “proof positive” of a Hawaii birth. Since then, however, dozens of experts, including several ex-CIA members, have asserted that the document is fraudulent.
At its release, WND contacted the Hawaii Health Department and the office of Gov. Neil Abercrombie, an ardent Obama supporter, to request confirmation that the image released was an accurate representation of the state’s file information. Officials refused to respond.
Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WND.com, the only news organization to report fully on the controversy, and publisher of “Where’s the Birth Certificate?,” said the issue is growing in significance and will be a dominating question in the 2012 presidential election.
“Barack Obama may think he put his eligibility controversy behind him with the release of an unauthenticated and unauthenticatable document, but this poll shows the American people still believe he is still hiding his own constitutional ineligibility for office,” he said. “I agree with the large percentage of respondents who say this issue will continue to haunt him through the campaign of 2012 – if he actually dares to run for re-election.”
Wenzel’s analysis of the poll results agreed.
“If Barack Obama thought that by releasing an electronic version of what the White House said was his long form birth certificate, the question of his eligibility to serve as president would be settled once and for all, he was badly mistaken. My latest polling shows that only a bare majority of 51 percent believe the release of his birth certificate proves he is eligible to serve, and now, half of adults nationwide want a congressional inquiry into his eligibility to serve.
“This reflects a deep distrust of the White House on this question. More telling is that 57 percent in this national telephone survey were either greatly or somewhat troubled by assertions that the electronic birth certificate appears to have been either forged or tampered with. Another 38 percent said they were not troubled at all by such assertions,” Wenzel said.
“Obama came into office with such fanfare and made such sweeping claims that his administration would repair holes in our social fabric and fix our economy, but America has seen none of that. Disappointment has given way to disillusionment and anger, and this survey reveals that even on a simple, basic question of his qualification to hold the office of president, many are skeptical that what the White House has delivered is not at all what was advertised,” Wenzel said.
“There are many reasons this eligibility question has taken on a life of its own, but that only half the country believes that the president has proven he deserves to hold the office reveals a deeply held belief that he is somehow trying to trick the country. This sense of distrust underlies public perception of everything Obama does and says, which means that, as he begins to build a re-election campaign, it is going to be increasingly difficult for him to make a case on any issue as long as this question about the authenticity of his birth certificate remains unanswered. In fact, releasing the birth certificate that Obama released may have made worse his standing with the American people, and that will certainly be the case if a congressional inquiry discovers it has been tampered with or forged,” Wenzel warned.
Asked whether the constitution’s requirement for a “natural born citizen” means “anyone born in the U.S.,” there was a majority of 78 percent. But there obviously is a level of confusion on the issue as 43.5 percent said they believe that to be eligible, both parents of a president must have been U.S. citizens at the time of his birth.
Nearly 27 percent said “just one parent needs to be a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth.”
The most likely definition at the time the Constitution was written was a person born of two parents who are citizens of the nation.
Only 50.5 percent believe that the electronic image released in April documents his eligibility, and skeptics included more than 73 percent of the GOP, 48 percent of independents and more than 26 percent of Democrats.
Further, almost 57 percent were troubled by the evidence that the Obama electronic image of a “Certificate of Live Birth” was forged or had been tampered with. Only 38 percent said they were not troubled, and another 4.7 percent said they were uncertain.
Looking at the presidential campaign that Obama already has launched, 38.2 percent said eligibility will be an issue. More than 44 percent of all voters said the lingering questions will impact their decision regarding their vote in the next presidential election.
Shortly after the White House released the “birth certificate” image, Gallup reported that only 47 percent think Obama was definitely was born in the U.S. and 18 percent said he “probably” was.
Obama released the image saying he had no time for such silliness as questions about his birth, then departed for an appearance on Oprah’s television show.
Part of the doubt that remains could be attributable to the many analysts who have issued statements casting doubt on the integrity of the online image posted by the White House.
Web document experts have questioned the document’s authenticity, and a close inspection of the Hawaii Department of Health state registrar’s official stamp on the birth records even reveals an apparent typographical error.
The stamp, affixed April 25, 2011, says “TXE RECORD.”
Yet, on a copy of a Hawaii long-form birth certificate issued only one month earlier, the stamp says “THE RECORD.”
Also, the former Department of Health director, Chiyome Fukino, who reported she examined the original document, in an interview described it as half-typed and half-written. The image released by Obama, however, is all typed, with only the signatures written.
Another recent poll reported by the Los Angeles Times showed that the release of the White House image just weeks ago failed to convince a majority of Republicans.
The poll by Public Policy Polling said only 48 percent of Republicans said they believe Obama was born in the United States.
Some 34 percent said they did not believe Obama was born in the U.S., while 18 percent said they still aren’t sure.
On April 26, the day before the release of the long-form birth certificate, a USA Today/Gallup poll indicated only 38 percent of Americans were convinced Obama was born in the U.S., and another 18 percent said he probably was.
It was only a few months after Obama’s inauguration that a WND/Wenzel Poll
showed that 51.3 percent of Americans said they were aware of the
questions raised about Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office.
Only 18.7 percent said they were not and another 30 percent were
At that point, 58.2 percent of the GOP said they were aware of the controversy.
Polls later revealed 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.
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
showed on the one-year anniversary of Obama’s tenure in office 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 produced 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 showed 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 revealed.
- By June 2010, other media were beginning to put their toes in the waters of the controversy.
A 60 Minutes-Vanity Fair poll showed only 39 percent of respondents
believed 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 he was born in
Kansas or some other unknown state, which still would conflict with
- 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
See detailed results of survey questions:
Thinking about the constitutional requirements for a person to be eligible to be president of the United States, do you believe the constitutional requirement for presidents to be “natural born citizens” means anyone born in the U.S. is eligible?
In April, Barack Obama released an electronic image of a birth certificate in response to questions about his eligibility to serve as president. Do you believe the electronic image of a birth certificate released by Barack Obama in April proves he is constitutionally eligible to serve as president?
Some have said the electronic birth certificate released by Barack Obama appears to have been forged or tampered with. Do such assertions trouble you a great deal, are they somewhat troubling, or are you not at all troubled by such assertions?
In 2008, Congress conducted an inquiry into the presidential eligibility of Republican John McCain because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, then considered part of the United States. No such inquiry was conducted into Barack Obama’s eligibility. Would you now like to see Congress conduct an inquiry into Obama’s eligibility as it did for McCain in 2008?