Just when you thought it was safe to leave the house:
Author and former Giuliani speechwriter John Avlon posts, in a new blog post at TheDailyBeast.com, offers some mind-boggling numbers from new Harris poll. I’ll let him speak for himself:
On the heels of health care, a new Harris poll reveals Republican attitudes about Obama: Two-thirds think he’s a socialist, 57 percent a Muslim—and 24 percent say “he may be the Antichrist.”
To anyone who thinks the end of the health-care vote means a return to civility, wake up. Obama Derangement Syndrome—pathological hatred of the president posing as patriotism—has infected the Republican Party. Here’s new data to prove it:
• 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist. The belief that Obama is a “domestic enemy” is widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come.
• 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim
• 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”
• 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
• Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.”
• Respondents without a college education are vastly more likely to believe such claims, while Americans with college degrees or better are less easily duped.
The numbers come from a Louis Harris poll that surveyed 2,230 people “right at the height of the health-care reform debate,” Avlon writes. His conclusion:
This poll is the latest and most detailed evidence of the extent to which Wingnuts are hijacking our politics. It should be a wakeup call to all Americans and a collective reminder, as we move past health-care reform, that we need to stand up to extremism.
For the record, he’s identified as the author of a new book titled Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.
The Harris poll is supposed to be coming out officially on Wednesday.