17November2017

World Actuality

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Top 20 greatest conspiracy theories that Americans believe

About 90 million Americans believe aliens exist. Some 66 million of us think aliens landed at Roswell in 1948. These are the things you learn when there's a lull in political news and pollsters get to ask whatever questions they want.


Public Policy Polling has raised weird polls to an art form. During last year's presidential campaign, the firm earned a bit of a reputation for its unorthodox questions; for example, "If God exists, do you approve of its handling of natural disasters?"

Today PPP released the results of a national survey looking at common conspiracy theories. Broken down by topic and cross-referenced by political preference, the results will not inspire a lot of patriotism. If you need to defend your fellow countrymen, be sure to note that the margin of error is 2.8 percent.

We took the findings and arranged them from most- to least-believed. And, just to inspire additional shame, figured out how many actual Americans that meant must believe in things like the danger of fluoride in water. (28 million, if you're wondering.)

Conspiracy Percent believing Number of Americans believing

 

JFK was killed by conspiracy

51 percent 160,096,160

 

Bush intentionally misled on Iraq WMDs

44 percent 138,122,178

 

Global warming is a hoax

37 percent 116,148,195

 

Aliens exist

29 percent 91,035,072

 

New World Order

28 percent 87,895,931

 

Hussein was involved in 9/11

28 percent 87,895,931

 

A UFO crashed at Roswell

21 percent 65,921,948

 

Vaccines are linked to autism

20 percent 62,782,808

 

The government controls minds with TV

15 percent 47,087,106

 

Medical industry invents diseases

15 percent 47,087,106

 

CIA developed crack

14 percent 43,947,966

 

Bigfoot exists

14 percent 43,947,966

 

Obama is the Antichrist

13 percent 40,808,825

 

The government allowed 9/11

11 percent 34,530,544

 

Fluoride is dangerous

9 percent 28,252,264

 

The moon landing was faked

7 percent 21,973,983

 

Bin Laden is alive

6 percent 18,834,842

 

Airplane contrails are sinister chemicals

5 percent 15,695,702

 

McCartney died in 1966

5 percent 15,695,702

 

Lizard people control politics

4 percent 12,556,562

Just to further inspire conversation, PPP broke down belief in each theory by whom the respondent supported in the 2012 election. This yielded some genuinely interesting results.

For example, only two conspiracies were more commonly believed by Obama supporters: that Bush intentionally misled America about Iraq's WMDs (a massive 69 percent of his supporters believe that one) and that the moon landing was faked. There two theories with equal support among Obama and Romney supporters: that aliens exist and theone about fluoridation. Everything else, from lizard people to vaccines and autism to global warming being a hoax? Believed by more Romney supporters.

No conspiracy was less commonly believed than one suggesting that the government is populated by lizard people. But that's mostly because only 2 percent of Obama supporters believe the theory while 5 percent of Romney supporters do.

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