Slightly more than half of Republicans still doubt whether President Obama was born in the United States, according to new poll numbers out Tuesday.
Thirty-four percent of those GOP voters surveyed last week by Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling said that they believe Obama was not born on domestic soil. Another 18 percent said they were unsure if he was.
Those numbers are a far cry from the percent who questioned where Obama was born before the White House released his long-form birth certificate last month.
Still, when those who answered the question, “Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States?” with either a “No” or a “Not Sure” are taken together they represent more than half of those surveyed and, obviously, make up a formidable bloc of primary voters that can’t be discounted in a wide-open GOP primary contest.
Mitt Romney looks to be the candidate most likely to be hurt by the persistent “birther” faction. He placed second in the PPP poll with 18 percent, trailing Mike Huckabee by one point. But if you remove those who remain unconvinced that Obama was born in the U.S., Romney leads Huckabee and the rest of the field with 22 percent. (Huckabee remains at 19 percent.)
Meanwhile, the candidates who appear to be benefitting most from the remaining birthers are Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachman and, ever so slightly, Donald Trump. All of those candidates fare better among those who answered “No” than they do overall with GOP voters.
Palin support moves up from 12 percent to 17 percent, Michele Bachman support increases three points to 10 percent, Gingrich climbs two points to 15 percent and Donald Trump inches up from 8 percent to 9 percent.
Trump has seen his support nearly evaporate since the release of Obama’s certificate. He led the PPP poll last month with 26 percent of the vote, but in the latest poll he came in tied for fifth with Ron Paul with 8 percent, trailing Mike Huckabee (19 percent), Mitt Romney (18 percent), Newt Gingrich (13 percent), and Sarah Palin (12 percent).
Trump sprang to the top of the polls earlier this year, thanks in large part to his adoption of the birther mantra. But even though the reality star has claimed credit for forcing Obama to release his birth certificate, GOP voters don’t seem to care. His unfavorable rating now stands at 53 percent among GOP voters, and 64 percent among those Republicans who believe the president was born in the U.S. (which it appears as though Trump is now one of, btw).