Are Republicans More Likely to Believe Govt Conspiracy Theories? Depends on the President's Party

Public Policy Polling has recently reported Republicans are more likely than Democrats to subscribe to government conspiracy theories. However, past polling shows that partisanship often plays a key factor in shaping conspiracy perceptions. For instance, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe conspiracies about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Whereas in PPP’s recent poll, questions asked about the Obama administration found Republicans more likely to subscribe to the conspiracy theories. It should come as little surprise that Democrats are more likely to believe conspiracies when a Republican is president, and visa versa for Republicans when a Democrat is president.

Back in 2009, one of PPP’s own polls even found that Democrats were more likely to believe “President Bush intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to take place because he wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East” with 25 percent of Democrats compared to 14 percent of regular Americans. Rasmussen also found in 2007 that 35 percent of Democrats believed George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance compared to 11 percent of Republicans.

Many of the PPP’s recent questions referenced the Obama administration: whether respondents thought the Obama administration was secretly trying to take away everyone’s guns, if Obama was trying to figure out a way to stay in office beyond 2017, and if the US government engages in “false flag” operations.

In sum, either Republicans or Democrats may be more likely to believe government conspiracy theories depending on if the opposing party is in the White House.

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  • WTF||

    Democrats were more likely to believe “President Bush intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to take place because he wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East”

    Many of the PPP’s recent questions referenced the Obama administration: whether respondents thought the Obama administration was secretly trying to take away everyone’s guns

    These two premises are not exactly equivalent. It seems pretty obvious that believing Obama has a desire to ban firearms is not on the same level as believing Bush allowed 9/11 just to satiate his war boner.

  • Tony||

    They are exactly equivalently untrue. Plus a whole lot more Republicans believe their untrue thing.

  • WTF||

    Fuck off you mendacious twat.

  • sarcasmic||

    So says Mister Distinction-Challenged.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yeah, except that Obama's publicly expressed that desire.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Bare assertion is bare.

  • Loki||

  • FYTW||

    Obama has repeatedly and expressly called for a ban on assault weapons. Please feel free to explain how openly advocating for gun bans on multiple occasions does not actually reflect a desire to ban guns.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...with 25 percent of Democrats compared to 14 percent of regular Americans. [emphasis added]

    I hope this wording was deliberate.

  • sarcasmic||

    Are Republicans More Likely to Believe Govt Conspiracy Theories?

    I guess it all depends on which party is in the White House.

  • WTF||

    Do Republicans believe in conspiracy theories or phony scandals?

    Either way, I guess.

  • sarcasmic||

    Republican conspiracy theories tend to be based upon what someone actually said or did, while Democrat conspiracy theories tend to be based upon "Well, everyone knows it's true! Denier! Denier!"

  • WTF||

    See: Tony|10.3.13 @ 1:08PM|# for an example.

  • Eric||

    Exactly. Cuz Obama really was born in Kenya and is a muslim manchurian candidate.

    Keep carrying their water...One day the Republicans will love you sweetheart.

  • Tony||

    That's the claim, but it wasn't supported by the evidence provided.

  • sarcasmic||

    Some things are so obvious to anyone with half a brain that evidence need not be provided.

  • ||

    KOCHTOPUS!

  • Loki||

    I guess those links to the actual polls don't count as evidence.

  • Brian||

    Are Republicans More Likely to Believe Govt Conspiracy Theories?

    Does anyone care? Let's take a survey.

  • WTF||

    Well, what else would you do if you're the Polling Director?

  • Brian||

    Sounds like we need a poll for that one.

  • sarcasmic||

    If I was her I'd stroll through a museum just to watch the statues grow boners.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Public Policy Polling has recently reported Republicans are more likely than Democrats to subscribe to government conspiracy theories.

    Someone should write a book on the topic of conspiracy theory in US politics. No, I mean a good one.

  • WTF||

    Oohhh, sick burn!

  • ||

    Believing that the Koch Brothers are using Citizens United and ALEC to subvert American democracy and create a fascist oligarchy is very much a conspiracy theory, isn't it?

    And that conspiracy theory gets invoked all the time on progressive websites and forums.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Everyone knows it's true! Denier! Denier!"

  • Brandybuck||

    The latest conspiracy hitting the rounds is the idea that Republicans shutdown the government.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Well, everyone knows it's true! Denier! Denier!"

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Not republicans, but TED CRUZ, Canadian krypto so-con fascist.

  • Dave Krueger||

    Blind loyalty to the leader of one's own party is not uncommon. History is full of notable examples.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Are they talking about crazy conspiracy theories or the ones that have become public knowledge?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Rasmussen also found in 2007 that 35 percent of Democrats believed George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance compared to 11 percent of Republicans.

    Remember, George W. Bush is supposed to a slack-jawed yokel chokes on pretzels, except when he's an evil mastermind who arranges complex plots against the United States so he can have "Blood for Oil" (even though we got no oil out of the deal).

  • lap83||

    That always confused me how Bush could be simultaneously the dumbest and most dastardly brilliant mastermind ever. But then, I'm in cahoots with the Kochtopus (see below) so they probably just paid me to pretend it's a valid question.

  • Loki||

    I think the story goes that supposedly Dick Cheney was the real evil mastermind of everything. Bush was just his clueless butt-boy. Or something like that.

  • Eric||

    The same shit gets said about Obama. He's either a completely unqualified community organizer who faked his way through life via affirmative action...or he's an evil manchurian candidate who is systematically dismantaling the U.S. Constitution as part of his grand scheme to turn the U.S. into a socialist state.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Public Policy Polling has recently reported Republicans are more likely than Democrats to subscribe to government conspiracy theories.

    In other words, republicans are better informed about the actual actions of Obama's administration.

  • lap83||

    Democrats are more likely to nobly question the motives of evil Kochtopus funded politicians.

    Republicans are more likely to invent phony scandals and believe crazy conspiracies such as the idea that Obama is ever motivated by anything impure or non-sparkly because teabaglicans are in cahoots with evil Kochtopus funded politicians.

    In short, Democrats know the truth and speak to power. Republicans are all conspiring with the evil Kochtopus and that's why they believe crazy conspiracy theories about the Great Healer.

  • Quinn||

    Also they're racist. They must be if they oppose our dear leader.

  • Quinn||

    People fall into the thought process of just vilifying the other side. Currently it doesn't help that the party in power is typically pro government (and the president made a speech about trusting government), while at the same time the NSA is spying on people.

  • Irish||

    Why are conspiracies involving the GOVERNMENT the only things that are called conspiracy theories? Last night, I was informed by Democratic Underground that the Koch Brothers have the ability to buy all of the senate seats because of Citizens United. Also, the Koch's are the vile conspirators behind the government shutdown and as such are seditionists that should be arrested.

    That's a psychopathic conspiracy theory and an unbelievable number of Democrats believe something like this. Why are Republican conspiracies about government deemed crazier than Democrat conspiracy theories about two random billionaires?

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