Editor's note: This is the second of a series of monthly "Freedom Index" polls conducted exclusively for WND by the public opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.
WASHINGTON – It may be the issue few in the media dare address, but a new scientific public opinion survey of a cross-section of Americans shows they are not only aware of questions about Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility for office, but almost half are either "troubled" by the questions or believe he should release all relevant documents including his long-form birth certificate.
Asked if they are aware of the questions raised about Obama's constitutional eligibility for office, 51.3 percent answered affirmatively, while only 18.7 percent said no. Another 30 percent said they were unsure.
"Our polling shows that the questions surrounding Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president clearly strike a nerve across America, probably because it is a problem that everybody understands," said pollster Fritz Wenzel. "Every American citizen has a birth certificate, and once in a while we all have to produce them to get a drivers license or gain entrance to school. Everyone understands the simple rules – if you don't produce it, you don't get in. And while Obama did get in to the White House, nearly half the country's adults – 49 percent – are troubled by this issue and still want him to produce his official long-form birth certificate."
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Among Republicans, 58.2 percent said they were aware, while 49 percent of Democrats acknowledged knowing about the questions. The higher the income of those questioned, the more likely they were to answer yes.
"There's not much variance across demographic groups on the question, with the exception of race, where whites were far more likely than blacks to be troubled by Obama's refusal to produce the original birth certificate," said Wenzel. "It is interesting to note that Obama's own age cohort – those in their 40s and 50s – were more likely than any other age groups to want the new president to prove he is eligible for the job."
When asked what their view of the questions was, 41.5 percent of respondents answered that Obama should release all relevant documents, including the long-form birth certificate. Another 7.8 percent said they were "troubled" by the questions.
Others (12.3 percent) said they were "not concerned," while 9.2 percent said the questions were not valid and 14.3 percent said Obama had met the requirements as a "natural born citizen." Another 8.5 percent said Obama had answered the questions to their satisfaction, while 6.3 percent said the requirements of the Constitution were simply outdated.
The WND/Wenzel survey was conducted June 6–10 using an automated telephone technology calling a random sampling of listed telephone numbers nationwide. The survey included 22 questions and carries a 95 percent confidence interval. It included 790 adult respondents. It carries a margin of error of +/– 3.5 percentage points.
Data from this survey also showed that a substantial majority – 56 percent – also wants Obama to release his educational records, which would yield more clues to his early life and citizenship. Among men, 62 percent said those school records should be released.
"These are questions that are not on the front pages right now, but they are far from going away – and people clearly want answers," said Wenzel. "As long as they go unanswered, they act like a low-grade fever that hampers everything Obama is attempting to do in office. And they could flare up at any time."
"There's another interesting twist here – in that this survey showed that nearly half of American adults nationwide think personal freedoms have decreased under Obama," said Wenzel. "At a time when there is substantial unease over Obama's dramatic intervention in the U.S. auto industry and his promise of swift action to overhaul the national health care system, many want this man who is exercising such power to remake our country to prove once and for all that he is qualified to wield such power."
Fritz Wenzel is president of Wenzel Strategies a public opinion research and media consulting company. Formerly associated with Zogby International, he spent 25 years as a news and political reporter for major metro dailies.
See detailed results of survey questions: