A new national survey from Public Policy Polling (D)
has the firm asking a question: "Is extremism becoming mainstream in 21st century American politics?"
The poll finds that numerous fringe views are either accepted outright or are open questions among significant portions of the party bases opposed to the politicians who are targeted by them.
The poll found that only 59% of voters believe that President Obama was born in the United States, with 23% saying he was not, and 18% undecided. Among Republicans only, a 42% Birther plurality say he was not born here, 37% say he was, and 22% are undecided.
As for the left, check out this question: "Do you think President Bush intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to take place because he wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?" The top-line response is 14% yes, 78% no, and 8% undecided. But among Democrats, it's a somewhat larger Truther contingent, at 25%-63%-12%.
In addition, respondents were asked whether each of the two most recent presidents are the Anti-Christ. For former President George W. Bush being the Anti-Christ: 8% yes, 81% no, 11% undecided, with a breakdown among Democrats of 14%-75%-11%. And whether President Obama is the Anti-Christ: 10% yes, 79% no, 11% undecided, with a split of 19%-67%-15% among Republicans.
"Strange times in American politics," writes PPP communications director Tom Jensen. "Forget bipartisanship, it would be an accomplishment if we could just get to the point where excess partisans didn't think the opposite party's President was the Anti-Christ!"