Where the eff was Donald Trump born, anyway?! New poll shows most Americans uncertain

Donald Trump sitting in a chair wearing a suit and looking bewildered

Boy, I’ll tell ya. The more I look into the background behind this Donald Trump guy’s birth, the more “suspect” it is. Have you heard the new poll numbers? Most Americans don’t even believe he was born in this country. Now, he either doesn’t have his birth certificate or he’s not showing it to every single person in this country on demand at all times. Which-it’s a very strange situation. That’s all I can tell you. It’s a very sad thing. But the fact is, if he wasn’t born in this country, he shouldn’t be able to run for the president of the United States. Plus, come on guys. I also heard he was a terrible student. Terrible. Not like, OK. I mean I heard he was a REALLY bad student. How does such a bad student start at Fordham and then transfer to Wharton School of Business? This just sounds suspect. I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records. Did he only get in because of his father’s stellar connections? Because I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can’t get into Wharton. The point is, we don’t know a thing about this guy. There are a lot of questions that are unanswered about our potential maybe-but-not-really Republican presidential candidate.

Do these comments sound familiar? If so, it’s because they mimic almost verbatim the comments that maybe-presidential-hopeful Donald Trump has been making about definitely-president Barack Obama. His comments have been sensationalistic, bigoted, and toxic. They’ve also been well-covered. And they’ve sort of worked. Today the White House published the long form version of Obama’s birth certificate on their website, and held a press conference about it! Pundits are already pointing to this latest White House maneuver as more evidence that Trump’s shenanigans are working. After all, it appears he’s drawn enough attention to himself to warrant a response from the President on an issue that shouldn’t even be an issue in the first place. (John McCain wasn’t even born in the US–he was born on some military base abroad and it required an act of congress to confirm he was a citizen. Anyone talk about that? Of course not.)

All of this is what makes a recent poll so satisfying.

Via the Five Thirty Eight blog, a new poll finds that most Americans hold “significant doubt” about whether Donald Trump, the real estate mogul turned presidential maybe who has dominated the news circuit lately with his skeptical rantings about President Obama’s birth, was himself born in the United States.

The Gallup/USA Today poll finds, among other things, that just 43 percent of Americans believe that Mr. Trump was definitely born in the United States. From Five Thirty Eight:

When the same question was asked about Mr. Obama, doubts were somewhat greater: 24 percent rather than 7 percent said they thought the president was probably or definitely born elsewhere, while 56 percent rather than 63 percent thought he was probably or definitely born here… But the results aren’t all that different. There was barely any discrepancy, for instance, in the fraction of people who were willing to state that the candidate was definitely born in the U.S.: 38 percent for Mr. Obama, versus 43 percent for Mr. Trump.

graph displaying peoples beliefs about the birthplace of Trump and Obama

While this is certainly an amusing find, I post it with one caveat: that we all heed the warnings of our friends over at the Daily Show and resist the urge to take early polls too seriously. Not convinced? Check out their typically witty segment “premature ecalculation”, about the utter uselessness of early poll numbers.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted April 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    As ridiculous as this issue was, I think the President had no choice. So many complete untruths parading as some kind of conspiracy theory have created massive issues when they’ve gone unchallenged.

  2. Posted April 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m guessing that Trump was born in PixieLandhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4N4BM81SOU

  3. Posted April 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    One thing I noticed about that Daily Show segment – in all of the early polls they showed, the second place contender is the person who ended up getting the nomination. Maybe early polls do mean something – just not what the superficial reading would suggest. Also, the best quote I’ve seen on this issue: “No matter how many documents Obama releases it will never be enough, because there isn’t a document in the world that will turn him white.”

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