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What do Republicans think Obama believes deep down?

The choices in a recent survey were Christian, Muslim, atheist, spiritual and I don’t know.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker answered “I don’t know” when asked whether he thought President Obama is a Christian. That led political scientist Alexander Theodoridis of the University of California campus at Merced to to post (on the Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage” blog) the results of a recent survey he took exploring the same question.

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Theodoridis asked: “Which of these do you think most likely describes what President Obama believes deep down? Muslim, Christian, atheist, spiritual, or I don’t know.”

Obama professes to be a Christian and goes to church. But a surprisingly small portion of respondents accept that “Christianity” (whatever they might think that entails) is the best word to describe what he believes deep down. Unsurprisingly, the results vary significantly by political orientation, but they are all interesting. The responses were:

Among Democrats:

  • Christian: 45 percent
  • I Don’t Know: 26 percent
  • Spiritual: 17 percent
  • Muslim: 10 percent
  • Atheist: 2 percent

Among Independents:

  • I don’t know: 47 percent
  • Muslim: 26 percent
  • Christian: 16 percent
  • Spiritual: 9 percent
  • Atheist: 2 percent

Among Republicans:

  • Muslim: 54 percent
  • I don’t know: 29 percent
  • Christian: 9 percent
  • Atheist: 5 percent
  • Spiritual: 3 percent

Theodoridis noted that, among Republicans, Walker’s answer of “I don’t know” made him something of a moderate.