What is Obama’s religion? Your answer shapes how you view the “war on whites”

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Graffiti Obama is (not) a Muslim

Eli Duke via Flickr

Graffiti in Oahu 2009: Obama is (not) a Muslim

If you think President Obama is a Muslim, then you probably also believe that the White House is biased, favoring blacks over whites. Results from the 2012 American National Election Study shed light on why some agree with Congressman Mo Brooks’ claim that Democrats are waging a “war on whites.” Americans—especially Republicans—are more likely to see a bias against whites if they think Obama is a Muslim.


The ANES asked if the Obama administration favored whites over blacks, favored blacks over whites, or treated both groups equally. Half of those who believe that Obama is a Muslim also see bias in favor of blacks over whites. But among those who think Obama is a Christian, only 13 percent see the same bias.


Perceptions of White House racial bias is driven by partisan (see my earlier post here).  Six-in-ten Republicans who believe Obama is a Muslim also believe that Obama favors whites over blacks. Nearly a majority who think the president isn’t religious see a bias. But most of the Republicans who say Obama is a Christian don’t see a racial bias.

The effect of (mis)belief about Obama’s religion is even starker among independents. A majority of independents who believe Obama is a Muslim also believe he is biased in favor of blacks over whites. This drops to less than 20 percent for other independents.

Belief about White House bias is small among Democrats. Still, it triples from just five percent among Democrats who know Obama is a Christian to 18 percent of Dems who believe he’s a Muslim.