PPP’s latest round of conspiracy-theory related questions finds that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe various government-related conspiracy theories, similar to results we found on our first round of conspiracy polling last April. Overall, 36% of Americans and 62% of Republicans believe that the Obama Administration is secretly trying to take everyone’s guns away; just 14% of Democrats believe the same. One in four Americans say that President Obama is secretly trying to figure out a way to stay in office beyond 2017 – including almost half of Republicans (44%). And 26% of Americans think that Muslims are covertly implementing Sharia Law in American court systems, while 55% don’t think so and another 19% aren’t sure. There’s a huge partisan breakdown on this one as well – 42% of Republicans fear Sharia Law making its way into America’s courts while just 12% of Democrats agree.
13% believe that the U.S. government engages in so-called “false flag” operations, where the government plans and executes terrorist or mass shooting events and blames those actions on others, 70% disagree. Republicans (21%) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (9%) to believe this theory. 19% say there is a secret society such as Skull and Bones that produces America’s political and financial leaders to serve the wealthy elite. And 17% of voters said they think a group of world bankers are slowly eliminating paper currency to force most banking online – only to cut the power grid so regular citizens can’t access money and are forced into worldwide slavery. Nearly one in three Republicans (27%) believe the electronic currency theory while just 10% of Democrats agree.
We asked voters whether they thought the government has engaged in the assassination of entertainers such as John Lennon and Tupac Shakur and political leaders such as Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. whose message they didn’t like. Voters were nearly twice as likely to think the government killed political leaders to silence them (23% yes, 61% no) than entertainers (12% yes, 72% no.)
One of the most widely-believed theories involved the rigging of professional sporting events. 32% said they think major sporting events such as the NBA playoffs or the Super Bowl are sometimes rigged by league offices and referees to increase ratings and revenue for the sports, just 49% said they were certain this doesn’t happen, and 19% aren’t sure. One topic that united most Americans was the issue of extraterrestrial life. Three out of four participants answered that the government does not harbor a ‘Men in Black’ organization to keep humans from discovering alien life; compared to just 6% who did. And only 3% of those polled believe that the US has been conspiring with aliens for technology advancements.
Full results here.