People Believe the Darndest Things--and not just "Birthers"
If you exclude the Southern results of the Daily Kos poll, more Americans believe that Obama was born in Hawaii than believe in heaven--and in the northeast, more Americans believe Obama was born in Hawaii than believe in God. And no matter how you choose to analyze it, twice as many Southerners believe Obama was born in the US as believe he wasn't, 47% vs. 23%.
These "Birthers" exist but they are hardly a movement, they're not serious, and their beliefs are no more delusional than lots of other weird Americans. Being angry at a "Birther" is like arguing with the tin-foil hat homeless guy waving an "END IS NEAR" cardboard sign. But if the weird and disproportionate anger toward these crazies continues to exist, here are some more crazy statistics you can throw in people's faces when they are outraged that anyone could believe Obama was born in Kenya:
-- 34% of Americans believe in ghosts*
-- 34% of Americans believe in UFOs*
-- 29% of Americans believe in Astrology*
-- 25% of Americans believe in reincarnation*
-- 24% of Americans believe in witches
* Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe in these things--by 8%, 5%, 14%, and 14%, respectively.
-- 66% of Americans believe the JFK assassination was a conspiracy (Democrats more than Republicans by a 15% margin)
-- 36% of Americans believe 9/11 was an inside job
-- +25% of Americans age 18-25 expressed doubt that humans have been to the moon (6% of all Americans believe it was faked)
All of these numbers are a greater percentage of all Americans than the percentage of just Southern Republicans (23%) who believe Obama wasn't born in the US--and if you exclude the Southerners (4-7% everywhere else) these comparative percentages are far larger.
People believe some ridiculously stupid things, and it cuts across party lines. The only thing Bill Maher got right was that every crazy idea can get traction with some group of people. But it has nothing to do with "the religious right" or the far-right wing, it's just incidental to this particular issue. And if you balk at that, look at those numbers above and tell me Republicans are the crazy ones on some of those beliefs.