Why, according to one poll, do an increasing number of Americans think that Barack Obama is Muslim? One thing to keep in mind is a context of relentless but subtle messaging from his conservative opponents. Take the case of Tom Sowell, a Stanford economist who should know a lot better:
The 2010 elections are one of the most, if not the most, important elections we’ve ever held. Because if Obama doesn’t get stopped in this fall’s election, I don’t know how he’ll ever be stopped. For one thing, people talk about his falling poll numbers. He’s still in the 40% range. If he can somehow make millions of illegal immigrants legal voters before 2012, he can win a second term. That would be the point of no return. The November elections are like the battle of Poitiers or the seige of Vienna. If those battles had gone a different way, the entire history of the world would have been different. In the November elections, this country will be at stake.
Note first the immigration paranoia -- there is no proposal to convert illegal immigrants to citizens. The proposal is for a long path to citizenship, which takes years even for legal immigrants. Then the battle references. It's not clear why he'd pick Poitiers from the various events during the Hundred Years War but he had to get in the Siege of Vienna -- a critical setback in the Ottoman (i.e. Muslim) encroachment in Europe. Who needs the contraptions in Inception when you've got this stuff?