Among Republicans, however, only 27% say Obama actually won the race, with 52% -- an outright majority -- saying that ACORN stole it, and 21% are undecided. Among McCain voters, the breakdown is 31%-49%-20%. By comparison, independents weigh in at 72%-18%-10%, and Democrats are 86%-9%-4%.
As TPM and Matt Yglesias point out, the comparison to Democratic discontent over Florida in 2000 doesn't really hold -- not just because the difference in the magnitude (less than 600 votes in Florida, versus a 9.5 million vote edge for Obama nationwide), but also because the Florida controversy stemmed from a well-observed and legitimately disputed controversy over how to count imperfect ballots (butterflies, hanging chads, the whole she-bang).*
Meanwhile, Research 2000 put a poll in the field showing right-wing star Marco Rubio surging against wildly popular (statewide, anyway) but moderate Governor Charlie Crist in a GOP primary for the Senate seat -- showing a whopping net 43 point improvement from the last R2K poll. And this is with Rubio at only 50% name ID and with no money spent on advertising yet.
The poll also asked GOP voters whether they believed Obama was born in the US. Only 35% said yes (29% no, 36% not sure). Break that down for Crist and Rubio voters, and a distinct pattern emerges. 73% of Republicans who believe Obama was born in the US go for the more moderate Crist, with only 16% for Rubio. Among birthers, it flips to 31% for Crist and 54% for Rubio. There is, in other words, a pretty clear linkage between the resurgent conservative base currently driving the party and adherence to some pretty ridiculous conspiracy theories about the President. Sayeth Kevin Drum:
This is craziness. I could understand 10 or 15% believing this. That's sort of the base level of people who will believe any nutty idea. But 52%? Someone in the GOP needs to take a deep breath and a long look in the mirror, and then try to rescue their party. Condoning insanity is not a long-term electoral strategy.
This is 9/11 trutherism turned into a legitimate political force. It's a scary thing to behold.
* My own feeling about Florida is that I believe more people in the state filled out a ballot believing they had cast a vote for Al Gore. Whether there was any fair or manageable standard for counting ballots that could have reflected that decision is unknowable, however. The Washington Post's re-recount indicates that Gore's own litigation strategy would have caused him to lose, but a recount of all ballots statewide would have given him the winning edge.