Poll: 1 in 5 Thinks Obama Is Muslim

Confusion over president's religion is growing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2010 1:02 AM CDT
Updated Aug 19, 2010 7:53 AM CDT
Almost half of those polled said the president relies on religion the right amount when making decisions.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Americans are becoming increasingly confused about their president's religion, polls show. Almost a fifth of Americans incorrectly believe that President Obama is a Muslim, according to a Pew Research Center poll released today. Only 34% got it right and said the president is a Christian, while 43% said they weren't sure what religion Obama belongs to, the AP reports.

A poll by Time magazine taken after Obama defended Muslims' right to build a mosque near Ground Zero found that 24% of Americans believe the president is a Muslim. Around a third of Republicans believe Obama prays to Mecca but even among Democrats, the proportion who believe he is a Christian has fallen over the last year. Pew analysts say the confusion likely stems from attacks on Obama by his critics, and from the president's limited attendance at religious services compared to his predecessors.

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