Nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who correctly say he is a Christian is down to just 34 percent.
Probing a more universal measure of knowledge, Gallup also asked the following basic science question, which has been used to indicate the level of public knowledge in two European countries in recent years: “As far as you know, does the earth revolve around the sun or does the sun revolve around the earth?” In the new poll, about four out of five Americans (79%) correctly respond that the earth revolves around the sun, while 18% say it is the other way around. These results are comparable to those found in Germany when a similar question was asked there in 1996; in response to that poll, 74% of Germans gave the correct answer, while 16% thought the sun revolved around the earth, and 10% said they didn’t know. When the question was asked in Great Britain that same year, 67% answered correctly, 19% answered incorrectly, and 14% didn’t know.
65% couldn’t describe the basic facts about Watergate56% think in war, the media should support the government over questioning it48% say the news media acted responsibly during the Clinton Wars45% characterized Watergate was “just politics”43% attended religious services in the previous 7 days40% believe the media was biased in favor of Bill Clinton35% say the government should not fund stem cell research34% think Rock and Roll has had an overall negative impact on America33% believe a wife should “submit herself graciously” to a husband30% say the Bible is the “actual word of God” to be taken literally29% think people will be “more likely” to afford college for their kids in 202028% disapprove of labor unions on principle28% say the government should have the right to control news reports27% believe divorce is “morally wrong”26% thought various disasters in 1999 might “foreshadow the wrath of God”26% think grade-school teachers should be allowed to spank their kids24% describe themselves as interested in what celebrities think21% told a pollster they’d never met that they had cheated in a relationship21% say justice was served in the O.J. Simpson case20% approve of the how the Catholic Church handles pedophilia20% believe that the killing of civilians in Vietnam was “relatively rare”15% were upset at Diana Spencer’s death like “someone you knew”12% think the United States should have a British-style royal family11% stockpiled food and water in advance of Y2K11% think “Titanic” was the best American movie of the 20th century11% would like “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” as their personal physician10% would eat a rat or an insect on a “reality” TV show10% think it’s advantageous to be a woman in American society10% believe Oswald acted alone10% say they are “very likely” to become rich someday8% could not name a single TV network8% fear they are “very likely” to be shot or badly hurt by a stranger7% think Elvis is possibly still alive6% say Garth Brooks is the best male singer of the 20th century5% are ?very afraid? of thunder and lightning5% would be “more likely” to buy food labeled as genetically modified3% wanted to see the questions on “Millionaire” become less difficult