The Cordoba House project, the Muslim community center that is set to be built in lower Manhattan a few blocks from the World Trade Center site, has inspired all sorts of opposition. But it's not exactly a not-in-my-back-yard phenomenon. In fact, many of the politicians who have called for stopping the project, and who have spoken of the sacredness of the ground there, aren't from anywhere even remotely nearby to begin with.
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Indeed, the intensity of opposition seems to increase as one actually gets further away from the site. And this isn't just for politicians, it's for us regular people, too. A CNN poll has put national opposition at 68%. Meanwhile, a Marist poll of New York City put opposition at a somewhat lower 53%. And furthermore, opposition was lowest in Manhattan -- the site of the actual Ground Zero location and the 9/11 attacks -- where a 53% majority approved of the Muslim community center, compared to 31% against. Opposition then increases in the surrounding boroughs of New York City, a place that has a population larger than many states, and then increases even more going out into the country beyond.
[TPM SLIDESHOW: Welcome To The Neighborhood: A Look At The Area Around The 'Ground Zero Mosque']
We decided to use a simple methodology: Using Google Earth, put down a location pin on the World Trade Center site, and then measure the distance to the hometowns of politicians who have slammed the project. So let's take a look at some of these political leaders who come from far and wide, and want to preserve the integrity of the hallowed land with which they don't actually come into regular contact.