Raleigh, N.C. (CBS CHARLOTTE) – A new survey that measures American views of conspiracy theories finds a wide gap between Republican and Democratic voters’ beliefs on a wide range of oftentimes bizarre ideas.
The nationwide March survey of registered Republican, Democrat and independent voters from Public Policy Polling collected data on a diverse set of conspiracy theories: 28 percent of voters from all parties believe that a secretive power elite group with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order.
Sixteen percent of voters from all political views either do not believe, or are not sure, that the moon landing was faked. Twenty-nine percent of all voters believe aliens exist, 6 percent believe Osama bin Laden is still alive and 11 percent of respondents believe, or are not sure, whether or not “shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate our societies.”
Despite a relative majority of all party voters coming together on some of the more bizarre theories, a wide partisan divide was exposed by many questions.
Fifty-eight percent of GOP voters believe that global warming is a conspiracy hoax, while 77 percent of Democrats disagree. Twenty percent of Republicans believe that President Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, compared to 13 percent of independents and only 6 percent of Democrats.
Seventy-two percent of Democrats believe that the Bush administration intentionally misled the public about weapons of mass destruction to promote the Iraq War, while 73 percent of Republicans disagree.
“Even crazy conspiracy theories are subject to partisan polarization, especially when there are political overtones involved,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, in a statement. “But most Americans reject the wackier ideas out there about fake moon landings and shape-shifting lizards.”
Public Policy Polling, which was founded in 2001 “to address inefficiencies in public policy surveys,” surveyed 1,247 registered U.S. voters from Mar. 27-30.