Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), was born in Calgary, Alberta in Canada in 1970, according to the birth certificate he released two years ago. But a Public Policy Polling poll released on Monday found that 40 percent of Republican voters falsely believe Cruz was born in the United States — compared to just 29 percent who believe the same of Hawaiian-born Barack Obama. Just 22 percent of Republicans said they believe Cruz was born abroad.
The poll indicates that a misinformation campaign by Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans has successfully convinced a large plurality of Republicans — 44 percent of those polled — that President Obama was born outside of the United States and his grandparents somehow planted a false birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser at that time.
The number is even more stark among those who indicated that they support 2016 GOP front-runner Donald Trump. Among those voters, 61 percent said Obama was not born in the U.S., while a mere 21 percent concede that he was American born.
The poll also found that a 54 percent of Republican voters believe the president is a Muslim, versus just 14 percent who believe him to be a Christian — a claim even debunked by his 2012 Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
Like several other Republican candidates, Cruz said last month that he “absolutely” supports ending birthright citizenship.
While Cruz was born in Canada, because his mother was an American citizen, he gained U.S. citizenship at birth (his Cuban-born father was naturalized in 2005). While the U.S. constitution’s requirement that every U.S. president be a “natural born citizen” is not explicitly defined, most legal scholars believe that children born to citizens abroad are eligible. Of course, since Obama’s mother was a U.S. citizen, born in Kansas, Obama would have qualified under the same reasoning.