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.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman started blogging with Feministing in 2008, and now runs partnerships and strategy as a co-Executive Director. She is also the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, where she promotes meaningful youth engagement in international development efforts, including through running the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. Lori was formerly the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has also worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Secretary-General's flagship Every Woman Every Child initiative, and at the International Women’s Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch. As a leading voice on women’s rights issues, Lori frequently consults, speaks and publishes on feminism, activism and movement-building. A graduate of Harvard University, Lori has been named to The Root 100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States, and to Forbes Magazine‘s list of the “30 Under 30” successful mediamakers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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