Tea Party, 'birthers' movements somewhat aligned, according to Field Poll

Californians are pretty sure President Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A., but not at all sure about the tea party movement, according to a new Field Poll.

Conversely, the survey found that those who identify strongly with tea partiers are not at all sure about the president's true nation of origin.

"It's an interesting phenomenon that they are not only rebelling against the growth and size of government, but they are actually questioning the authority of the president," said poll director Mark DiCamillo.

Doubts about whether Obama was born outside U.S. soil, and thus constitutionally ineligible to be president, arose during the 2008 campaign, and have been propagated since then by a "birther movement."

More than a dozen unsuccessful lawsuits have been filed challenging Obama's assertion — backed by a birth certificate and other evidence — that he was born in Hawaii.

The Field Poll found that 67 percent of those surveyed believe Obama, while 11 percent don't, and 22 percent aren't sure.

The percentage of nonbelievers and not-sures climbs to 58 percent (20 percent no, 38 percent don't know) among Republicans and a hefty 71 percent (22 percent no, 49 percent don't know) among respondents who said they identify "a lot" with the tea party movement.

Not a whole lot of respondents said they identified to any great degree with the movement. The loosely organized populist-meets-libertarian effort, which gained steam through 2009, advocates limited government.

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