From Bigfoot to Aliens, WMD’s to Global Warming, Americans still buying popular urban myths
Public Policy Polling is a serious political pollster. In a more humorous take, they asked registered voters about more than 20 widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories.
37% of voters believe global warming is a hoax, 51% do not. Where you stand politically probably determines where you are on this question. Republicans say global warming is a hoax by a 58-25 margin, Democrats disagree 11-77, and Independents are more split at 41-51. 61% of Romney voters believe global warming is a hoax.
Among the time-worn conspiracy theories: 21% of voters say a UFO crashed in Roswell, NM in 1947 and the US government covered it up. More Romney voters (27%) than Obama voters (16%) believe in a UFO coverup. 28% of voters believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order. 29% believe aliens exist. 14% believe in Bigfoot. 7% think the moon landing was faked.
Increasingly, politics fuels speculation about conspiracies. 28% of voters believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. 36% of Romney voters say yes, 41% do not. Voters are split 44%-45% on whether Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 72% of Democrats think Bush lied about WMDs, Independents agree 48-45, while just 13% of Republicans think so. 11% of voters believe the US government allowed 9/11 to happen, 78% do not agree.
Some people are just weird. 5% believe exhaust seen in the sky behind airplanes is actually chemicals sprayed by the government for sinister reasons. 15% of voters say the government or the media adds mind-controlling technology to TV broadcast signals (the so-called Tinfoil Hat crowd.) 4% say they believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power. 13% think President Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. 5% believe Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was secretly replaced.
But the conspiracy theory most likely to get a response from people, and one of the most enduring, centers around events in Dallas on November 22, 1963. 51% of voters say a larger conspiracy was at work in the JFK assassination, just 25% say Oswald acted alone.