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August 20, 2009 09:34 PM UTC

Put Your Money Where Your Birth Certificate Is, GOP Candidates

  • by: Colorado Pols

According to the much-discussed Public Policy Polling automated “robopoll” released this week, only 33% of Colorado Republicans feel sure that President Barack Obama was born in the United States–fully 67% of Republicans, according to PPP, either believe Obama is not a natural-born citizen (thus not eligible to be President) or are “unsure.”

We’ve been clear about our opinion of this poll’s methodology and results, but we wouldn’t be as swift to dismiss this particular number–although the poll was tainted by an overall excess of Republican participants, it’s possible that results within a single self-identified party (as above) have a little more basis in reality, however shameful that might be.

But it invites a very good question, especially after CD-4 candidate Cory Gardner’s curious views on the subject at “town hall” yesterday: how many Republican candidates agree?

It sounds like a flip question, but we’re serious: 67% is a lock majority in any primary. If that many Colorado Republicans really either believe Barack Obama isn’t legally qualified to be President or are “unsure,” isn’t it a question any reporter would logically ask?

Actually, our suggestion would be to ask two questions:

1. Do you believe Barack Obama is legally eligible to be President?

2. Why do you think 67% of Colorado Republicans said they either do not believe Obama is eligible, or said they were “unsure” in a recent poll?

Now, of course there will be some folks out there who don’t think this is particularly fair. After all, we ourselves are on record saying–hoping, anyway–that it’s doubtful 67% of Colorado Republicans really subscribe to such a patently ridiculous idea. We’ll go along with that, as long as you agree to never refer to this poll as ‘credible’ again.


56 thoughts on “Put Your Money Where Your Birth Certificate Is, GOP Candidates

  1. has now sunken to such depths, has achieved such a deplorable state of counter-productive stupidity and ill-will, that it simply deserves to cease to exist.

    Undoubtedly, a new party would then emerge from the independents and libertarians, or the Democratic Party would bifurcate in order to recreate the two-party system. But the Republicans have now shamed themselves and the nation beyond repair. They need to go.

  2. It’s sad when people don’t understand basic math or the first thing about statistics.  Exit polls from the 08 election for Colorado had R+1 voters.  This poll ended up with R+3, a certainly reasonable expectation of turnout for a midterm election that will have Ritter and Bennet at the top of the ticket, not Obama.  It’s actually a little pessimistic in my opinion.  I think a lot more D’s will stay home and a lot more R’s will rush to those polls because of their belief their being persecuted by Adolf Obama.

    You can spin that Bob Beauprez is a laughable candidate all you want (I agree), but don’t piss all over a credible polling firm to do it. It hurts your credibility.

    And this won’t hold any sway for some, but since Markos did a lot of digging to see what polling firm he would go with I asked him his opinion of PPP:

    PPP is solid. Two of the top three pollsters the last two cycles — Rasmussen and Survey USA, are robo-polling outfits. And PPP had a fantastic record last cycle.

    Even if you think Markos is a left-wing America hating illegal immigrant, take a look at my comparison of PPP’s polling to everyone else’s for the ’08 Presidential and 08 CO-Sen race.

    1. I wasn’t going to comment on this post when you posted it earlier today, but this is getting ridiculous.

      Are you going to post this every time Pols is critical of a PPP poll? Who are you, Libertad?

      If Kos loves PPP so much, then why doesn’t he just hire them to do the polling for Daily Kos instead of Research 2000? By the way, Research 2000 Daily Kos polling is done by telephone interview, not robo-polling.

      Anyway, you have your own site to take care of kissing PPP’s ass. Why double post your condescending theories over here like a douchebag?

      1. I think this kind of superficial polling so early in the cycle is fundamentally useless, and generates misleading press. If it was following lots of money spent on TV ads, so that there is a reasonable confidence in name recognition among voters, then I would give it a little more credence. But that kind of spending doesn’t happen until mid/late-October.  So I don’t think these polls really measure what they say they measure.

        That said, johne has every right to disagree, and I think equating him with a mouth-breather like Libertad is hyperbolic.  

        1. He posted that exact same post on a different thread. Then, when nobody commented on it the first time, he posts it again.

          Double posting is troll behavior, and I’m going to point it out whether the person posting it is Libertad, johne, or Barack Obama.

            1. By calling you out when you do act like a troll.

              Besides, I’ll take a lack of comment ratings over people getting run out of town because you personally dislike them any day of the week. I guess that’s what you would call “transparency” though.

                1. Keep bringing it up Johne, and you’ll get screenshots of your insanity and bullshit rules that you break all the time.

                  Take for example

                  “Outing your name was just a taste”

                  Wanna see the screenshot?

                  Come an get it, johne boy!

            2. No purity sessions here. Our resident troll is actually a valued pet–Liber-dooooosh is carefully fed and watered with regular abusive attention on a daily basis.  

    2. If the issue is with weighting (and I think there are a variety of problems with robopolling), I’m trying to understand your argument.

      First, the “track record” you built into your squarestate post ought to be ignored. They are all mid to late October ’08 polls. If you built a model showing PPP’s accuracy 16 to 20 months out, then you would have something applicable to this discussion.

      Second, in your squarestate post, you allude to exit polling to support your defense of PPP. Could you please clarify that? The CNN exit poll you link to had a Colorado breakdown of 30D/31R/39U. How does that support your argument that PPP’s weighting of 39% Republican in this poll makes sense? If anything, it shows that CNN’s methodology was flawed.

      Third, Tom Jensen tells you their sample is made up up 3 out of 3 general election voters. Did I read that accurately? If so, it is an argument against the reliability of this poll; not in favor of it. To define likely voters in such a narrow universe is pretty weird to me–but regardless, that has nothing to do with partisan weighting.

      Fourth, the Colorado SOS has active voters from post Nov. 2008 at around the following breakdown: 34D/35R/29U. You can argue that mid-term turnout makes this breakdown problematic for weighting, but there is no doubt the PPP oversampled Republicans. I’m not sure why that’s so controversial.  

      1. I’m no polling expert, nor do I play one on the blogs, but that’s ludicrous, brillig. Polls are snapshots — no poll 16 months out is going to tell you what will happen on Election Day, but it could tell you where the electorate was when campaigns were gearing up.

        Most polls last year showed McCain leading Obama in early September. Were they wrong? No, because Sarah Palin, an economic meltdown, McCain’s campaign suspension and Obama’s masterful closing performance changed opinions. So late October ’08 polls really are the only ones you can judge objectively against actual votes.

        And I think the point johne was making about the sample spread had more to do with the fact voters identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans even though their registration card might say differently, so a +3 R weighting isn’t far off the +1 R actuality.

        1. The core of his argument is that PPP was reliable in late October, 2008, therefore their polls are reliable and valid now. My point is that those kinds of polls are chasing tens of millions of dollars in media buys. Of course everyone has an opinion about a candidate at that point. Therefore, the analogy doesn’t extend to the off-year in a useful way. Consequently, the core of his argument is useless.

          I think that’s why Tom Jensen’s reply to my criticism a few months ago was such a garbled mess. They are measuring something, but I don’t think it is what they say they are measuring. Therefore, what is the value of their work?

          The weighting is another issue–and the argument over that is different from the overall validity and utility of the poll itself. Here are my issues: (1) their model may be based on a very specific voting behavior criteria that essentially ignores everyone who has moved here since Nov. 2004 (I’m not sure about this, but that is one way to read johne’s post); (2) a party weight makes a lot of sense, but a R+13 over Unaffiliateds should be accompanied by a rationale based on statewide voting history; (3) we also don’t have a clue about the geographic weighting involved.  

      2. from here:

        The earliest PPP poll has Udall winning by 9

        PPP (D)     7/9-10/08   1050 LV   38   47   –   –   –   –   14   +9D

        that’s the earliest PPP poll on any race in Colorado they did, but to compare:

        Rassmusen from 6-18-07 had D+9

        Hill Research, 08-07 had D+5

        There was only one collective exit poll done, and CNN was simply listing the same data everyone else had.

        I’m saying voter turnout according to exit polls in 2008 was R+1 in colorado.  The polling PPP just did ended up with R+3 which given the change from a big presidential election to a relatively boring midterm is expected.

        How else would you determine likely voters in a midterm election?  

        And on to your last point.  SOS records have active voters as R+1, exactly the same as exit polling.  

        Finally, the same blue wave for Obama is not going to turn out for this election in 2010.  Like it or not (and I’d like to see Ritter and Bennet stay in officer personally) lots of Dems are going to stay home in November 2010 who did turn out for Obama.  

          1. The reason I chose to look at polling just before the election is there’s the reality of who the voters chose to vote for to compare it to.  When polling this far out you can only compare to other polling firms, all who have their own methodologies.  

            As for U’s, that’s always going to be a problem with self identification.  Nothing you can do about it.  But, that’s why I used a whole bunch of other data to show how PPP is pretty reliable.  Now if we had someone like Zogby doing the polling, I’d be pissing all over their craptacular methodology because it is crap.

            1. is an important thing to do, especially when their results are picked up and relayed as gospel by media, and I’ve gone down the rabbit hole with PPP before. And when Jensen unintentionally conceded that his April poll of the Senate race was essentially meaningless, they did nothing but damage their own credibility.


          2. as “Independents” to the same extent they register to vote that way. There are a lot of reasons people might register unaffiliated but still consider themselves, for the purposes of answering a poll, more or less Republicans or Democrats.  

        1. It’s always easier on everyone to build a little failure into your model.

          I get your point, but I get the Pols’ point about oversampling and crappy automated methods too, and neither of you can really claim to be authoritative this many months out from the election. Sorry to say, that reality is closer to the Pols’ net position that it is to yours, Johne. Maybe you and the Pols should agree to disagree instead of getting all uptight about “credibility.”

          Really, why the hell do you have such a burning desire to back PPP up? Given the numbers in this poll I’d think you were writing for the People’s Press Collective, you defend it with Ross Kaminskylike zeal.

          1. but I have a desire to stick to facts and truth.  If you want to spin that Beauprez is a horrible candidate that’s fine.  But don’t piss all over a valid poll just because you don’t like the outcome.  

            Again, this poll did not oversample republicans.  their polling ended up R+3 when exit polls of the 08 election were R+1.  Now, if their polling model had responses from 20% more republicans, then yeah, there would likely be a problem.  You may not like the idea of robo polls, but Survey USA, Rasmussen, and PPP all use them, and are some of the more accurate pollsters.  You may not like that Beauprez has has higher name recognition than Bennet, Buck, and Frazier.  But, that’s just the facts.  Bennet just got placed in office.  Beauprez is a former Congressman, ran for Governor, and keeps his name ID up by shilling margarita mix.  

            As for stomping all over what a poll says this far out and twas brillig’s supposed gotcha of PPP, everyone knows polls out this far show name recognition not true voter intent for the next election.  If the election were really held today, the campaigns would have ramped up to have maximum voter turnout messaging, etc. etc. to peak now.  Instead voters asked are mostly answering based on who they’ve heard of.

    1. for terrorists.

      They spend their time perfecting amphibious landings by sea use small curved boards that accelerate in front of a wave.  Those clever terrorists maintain it is some kind of outdoor recreation but ve know better.

      It makes perfect sense that Obama would be born in such a terrorist haven with plenty of ethnic minorities yearning to make trouble.  He fits right in making trouble and taking on the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations and frightening all their CEO’s with a real competitive alternative.  No doubt he was born in Havie.

  3. Like Penry, should produce their own birth certificates.

    Section 4. Qualifications of state officers.

    No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant governor unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, nor to the office of secretary of state or state treasurer unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, nor to the office of attorney general unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-five years and be a licensed attorney of the supreme court of the state in good standing, and no person shall be eligible to any one of said offices unless, in addition to the qualifications above prescribed therefor, he shall be a citizen of the United States, and have resided within the limits of the state two years next preceding his election.

    Can he prove his US Citizenship?

    Has he provided proof that he has “resided” within Colorado for the past two years?

    Has anyone?

    I agree with you Pols- the R leadership should answer the above questions.  So should Us and Ds.

    Voters should know whether our candidates and elected officials will form opinions and share them with us- ie a yes or no questioned answered with a yes or no.

    OR whether they are weasels who will non-answer- ie, I wasn’t there, I can’t say for sure, As far as I know, etc.

    Answer the questions.

    1. Do you believe Barack Obama is legally eligible to be President?


    2. Why do you think 67% of Colorado Republicans said they either do not believe Obama is eligible, or said they were “unsure” in a recent poll?

    Most, because they politically oppose him and his victory and they believe it is ok to politicize anything in anyway that may assist their opposition. Some because they’ll believe anything.

  4. when 67% of Repubs believe this ridiculousness.  Why try to appease these folks with any bipartisanship on health care (or any issue)?  Save the negotiating for the true conservatives which are now called moderate Democrats.

  5. I fundamentally disagree with many of Obama’s policies and that’s where the discussion should go.  But this mindless obsession with a stupid and worn out issue says that we can’t argue policy at an intellectual level and so have to bring up emotional arguments that have no basis in fact.

    And to my fellow republicans who still believe this crap about Obama’s birth: don’t you think that by now, if it was true, that some really smart reporter (in his quest for a Pulitzer) would have dug up the convincing proof?

    1. I’m sure there are many fine individuals who are registered R’s. But where is their voice? Somehow, it’s a party that has lost its voice, lost their way, and lost my respect.

  6. I think the problem where most Republicans are getting stuck on the “birther” issue is not whether or not President Obama was born in the country.  Instead, it’s whether or not it should matter.  

    Being somewhat of a fan of the Constitution, when pressed on the issue, I would suggest that we should probably know whether or not he was born in this country.

    OMFGROFLOLZZZ!!!1!  U just sed O wznt born her!  Birther!!!

    No, friend, I said we should know the answer to that.  

    I think that the answer is very clear now, and perhaps a new formulation should be in order: “I’m thankful for all of the attention and research that has gone into ensuring the Constitution is followed in this issue.”  Or something like that.  

    Because the fact remains that if the accusations of the “birthers” had been true, Constitutionally, we’d be in a world of hurt.  And I’m extremely thankful and glad that we are not.  

    My question is that if his father came back from the dead and appeared in the skies over America in a vision, and with a booming voice proclaimed “I was there when my son was born.  It was in Kenya,” would you care?  Or would it be just another antiquated section of the Constitution that doesn’t really mean what it says, and doesn’t apply, anyway?  

    I have my doubts as to whether those running the birthers down so loudly would be willing to accept the consequences if, by strange happenstance, he had been 100% demonstrably proven to have been born not in America.  

    You might as well burn the Constitution.

    That’s it.  Those who hate the radical “birthers” the rest of us will call “burners.”  

    [/the above post is about 90% tongue in cheek, though I’m sure you humorless bastards will flip out on that part and let the 10% of a satirical point fly right past]

    1. And if we found out he wasn’t even human, then t would be a problem too.

      Or if he was a lying criminal. Or not old enough.

      When you make stuff up to defend the birthers it looks like you are working too hard on their defense.  It creates the appearance that you are misled.

      The birther hyperbole was debunked (many times by many sources) before the election , most recently last summer.  As it should have been.

      No one has argued that we should burn the Constitution. No one has ever said if it was determined that he wasn’t eligible it shouldn’t matter.

      What we have said is asked and answered – move on.

        1. Main Entry yokel

          Pronunciation yo kul

          Function noun

          Etymology likely from English dialect yokel green woodpecker

          Date circa 1812 a naive or gullible inhabitant of rural area or small town, a major or minor dickhead

    2. But I want every Republican, like Cory Gardner, who questions Obama’s place of birth to provide an original “long form” (whatever that is) certificate of birth to the Secretary of State.

      Fair enough?

      Because having a birth certificate, newspaper announcements, and eyewitness accounts is apparently not enough.

  7. in the following way.

    When I begin a discussion with a conservative or Republican I will ask them a question:

    Do you believe Barack Obama was born in the United States?

    If they equivocate or hedge in any manner, if their answer is anything other than yes…I will get up and walk away from the discussion.

    I will no longer carry on a conversation with any Republican who continues to hold onto this moronic position. I consider it to be a monumental waste of time.  

    1. I think I am going to do the same.  A litmus test for stupidity, liars and/or panderers.

      Now if we could just get reporters to do the same.

      1. “Is Barack Obama is a US citizen?”


        That’s how unbelievably simple it is, and why we are getting so worked up when that is not the answer. It should be the only answer.

  8. Forget about birther/deather/bagger whack-a-mole irrationality. The very fact that these same people bounce from goofy, discredited claim to goofy, discredited claim should tell us that the specific content of the claims doesn’t actually matter. All is perfectly clear once you realize that nonsense like “He’s not really a US citizen!” are simply socially acceptable ways of stating, “I don’t think a Black man should be president.”

    What we have here is nothing but another iteration of GOP Southern strategy / silent majority dog-whistling. Here’s how it works. Take Ronald Reagan’s famous quip

    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

    and read it in context with this:


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