Think Progress: Many Kentucky voters misinformed about Obama’s faith

Think Progress

Many Kentucky voters misinformed about Obama’s faith

A poll of likely Kentucky voters finds that, “despite heavy national media attention about Obama’s faith, more than half of likely Republican voters — 54 percent — and one of every four Democrats in the state do not know that the Democratic presidential nominee is a Christian.” The poll indicated that “14 percent of likely Kentucky voters — 28 percent of Republicans, 4 percent of Democrats and 11 percent of independents — think Obama adheres to the Muslim faith.” Mahmoud Shalash, imam of the Islamic Center of Lexington, argued that the poll numbers are the result of a deliberate fear-mongering campaign:

“I am concerned that some people are spreading this rumor for political purposes, trying to exploit the anti-Islamic sentiment in this country that ties Muslims with terrorists,” Shalash said. “I don’t blame the ignorant bigots as much as the educated people who try to perpetrate this.

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Open Left: Conservatives Unmasked

Open Left

Conservatives Unmasked

The increasingly virulent tone at McCain-Palin rallies has led to a growing realization within big media that a sizable portion of the Republican base are angry bigots. See The Washington PostThe Politico, and The New York Times for recent reports of this nature. My question is: why did it take so long for these outlets to finally make this realization?
As I have written for three and a half years now, the conservative cultural supremacist message is so not-subtle that non-whites and non-Christians vote for Democrats at collective 3-1 rates. Mass demographic voting patterns of that sort do not take hold unless there is a very clear, long-term message in the most prominent political narratives in our country. In our country, the conservative backlash message has been clear: we are out to stop those freaky different people from taking power in America. Consider the latest ad from Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell:

Now, none of this is overtly racist, in that it avoids the uses of epithets. However, it is all identity based, and engages in a lot of racial codes. This is the conservative platform, and its messages are not subtle: we will protect you from those people who are different. As I have argued on numerous occasions, most recently here, the message is so not subtle that non-whites and non-Christians vote for Democrats at 3-1 rates.

What I really don’t understand is why the McCain campaign and other Republicans think that, after attacking Obama in just this why for several months, that just making those attacks louder and more frequently will somehow work. At this point I’m pretty sure everyone knows that Obama is black. Further, if these attacks were so fruitful to Republicans, then why do they have fewer seats in the House right now than Democrats have had in eighty years, and why are Republicans staring massive at increasingly large deficits in the House, Senate and White House? These attacks don’t work anymore because demographic trends indicate the “others” conservatives are attacking are collectively becoming the majority in America. At some point, they are going to have to deal with this fact, and come up with a new message for America rather than “we hate people who are different as much as you do.”