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Obama's enemies: Republicans and the uneducated

Friday 26 Mar 2010 9:32 p.m.

Barack Obama at his inauguration

Barack Obama at his inauguration

By Dan Satherley

New research in the US suggests a large minority of Americans hold extreme opinions on president Barack Obama.

A poll by market research company Harris Interactive shows that not only do two in five Americans believe Obama is a "socialist", but one-third still believe he is Muslim.

A full 38 percent believe he is going to take away US citizens' right to hold arms; 29 percent that he wants to sell-out the US to a "one-world government"; 27 percent that he resents the country's heritage; and 23 percent that he is a racist and anti-American, alike.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Again, 23 percent of Americans believe he wants to use a terrorist attack or economic collapse to take "dictatorial powers"; one-fifth say he is doing "many of the things" that Adolf Hitler did; and 14 percent believe he is none other than the Anti-Christ. That's almost one in every seven.

Perhaps the least surprising discovery from the poll of 2320 adults across the US is that views on Obama closely reflect the respondent's political affiliation and education.

Republicans predictably view Obama less favourably than Democrats; but more tellingly, the less education a person has, the likely they are to agree with a negative statement about the president – in every single category polled, without exception.

Independent voters' views generally fall between the two extremes, whilst voters with post grad qualifications are in some cases four times more likely to side with Obama than those with only a high school education or less.

Poll respondents' answers were weighted to bring them into line with population demographics. Harris Interactive says because the selected respondents were chosen from a larger pool of participants, no mathematical margin of error can be inferred.

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