When Donald Trump spreads conspiracy theories, his voters listen. A new poll out of North Carolina today confirms that Trump supporters are more likely than others to believe the wild conspiracy theories that Trump and his campaign have embraced.
Public Policy Polling found that a wide majority of Trump supporters in the state agree with his claim that “if Hillary Clinton wins the election it will be because it was rigged,” and many also believe that the group ACORN, which disbanded in 2010, is plotting to “steal the election for Clinton.”
Nearly half of the GOP presidential nominee’s voters “think that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton deserve the blame for Humayun Khan’s death” in 2004, a mindboggling claim pushed by Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, and claim to have, like Trump, viewed a nonexistent “video of Iran collecting 400 million dollars from the United States.”
The polling firm notes that “there’s a cult-like aspect to Trump’s supporters, where they’ll go along with anything he says.”
In previous surveys, large swaths of Trump’s supporters have embraced a wide variety of conspiracy theories promoted by the candidate, including ones about President Obama’s birthplace and religion, vaccines, climate change, Muslim-Americans in New Jersey purportedly celebrating the 9/11 attacks, and Justice Antonin Scalia’s death.
As Dean Debnam of Public Policy Polling put it, “For the most part we’ve found that Donald Trump’s supporters lap up every conspiracy theory he pushes out there.”
Donald Trump said a lot of different things last week so we polled to what share of his supporters bought into each of them:
-69% of Trump voters think that if Hillary Clinton wins the election it will be because it was rigged, to only 16% who think it would be because she got more vote than Trump. More specifically 40% of Trump voters think that ACORN (which hasn’t existed in years) will steal the election for Clinton. That shows the long staying power of GOP conspiracy theories.
-48% of Trump voters think that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton deserve the blame for Humayun Khan’s death to 16% who absolve them and 36% who aren’t sure one way or the other (Obama was in the Illinois Legislature when it happened.) Showing the extent to which Trump supporters buy into everything he says, 40% say his comments about the Khans last week were appropriate to only 22% who will grant that they were inappropriate. And 39% of Trump voters say they view the Khan family negatively, to just 11% who have a positive opinion of them.
-Even though Trump ended up admitting it didn’t exist 47% of his voters say they saw the video of Iran collecting 400 million dollars from the United States to only 46% who say they didn’t see the video. Showing the extent to which the ideas Trump floats and the coverage they get can overshadow the facts, even 25% of Clinton voters claim to have seen the nonexistent video.
-Trump said last week that Hillary Clinton is the devil, and 41% of Trump voters say they think she is indeed the devil to 42% who disagree with that sentiment and 17% who aren’t sure one way or the other.
We’ve been writing for almost a year that there’s a cult like aspect to Trump’s supporters, where they’ll go along with anything he says. Trump made some of his most outlandish claims and statements yet last week, but we continue to find that few in his support base disavow them.